Lumbar Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed by the premier surgery team at Los Angeles Neurosurgical Institute. A Lumbar Microdisectomy procedure is performed to relieve pressure on nerves in your back that are causing you pain.
Microdisectomy vs Open Disectomy
Like many surgical procedures, Microdisectomy is an improvement upon a traditional, more invasive technique: the open discectomy. In that procedure, the incision made by the surgeon is large and involves cutting through back muscle – something that puts the patient at risk of significant and perhaps permanent muscle damage. Additionally, recovery from an open discectomy is painful and slow.
Lumbar Microdisectomies have the same end-goal as open disectomies, and that’s to relieve your pain by removing part of the intervertebral disc that’s putting pressure on your nerve.
Lumbar Microdisectomy: The Procedure
During the procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia in the prone position. After the surgical region is cleaned, a 1-2 cm lengthwise incision is made directly above the herniated disc.
Using a surgical microscope, the surgeon exposes the bones by separating the skin and soft tissue. A retractor is used to spread the lamina bones above and below the disc. Making a tiny slit in the ligamentum flavum, the surgeon uses a special hook to lift the nerve root and view the injured disc.
Small instruments (such as a pituitary rongeur) are used to remove protruding disc material. Following a thorough examination of surrounding areas to ensure no additional disc fragments remain, the surgical team typically cleans the wound before closing muscle and bone and suturing the deep layers of tissue. The top layer of skin can be closed using special surgical glue that minimizes scarring and doesn’t require a bandage.
Lumbar Microdisectomy procedures last approximately one hour.
Potential Lumbar Microdisectomy Complications
While Lumbar Microdisectomies most often result in successful outcomes for patients, there are complications inherent to any surgical procedure that should be considered. Some of the most common complications include:
- problems with anesthesia
- nerve damage
- ongoing pain