If you’ve been having chronic back pain, your health care provider may have discussed several options with you. One of the ways to find relief is through laser spine surgery.
Since the 1980’s, many health professionals have been using lasers during this type of operation. If you’re considering the procedure, here is a brief overview of what to expect.
Before undergoing surgery your physician will give you a complete physical examination. During the exam, it is best to discuss your questions and concerns with him. Also, bring a list of your medications, as it may be advisable to stop taking certain ones before the procedure. This is also the time to arrange for transportation to and from the hospital, time off work, babysitters, and a support system for you following your operation. In addition, your doctor will discuss with you any activity limitations you may temporarily have following the surgery.
During surgery, you will be under general anesthesia while this minimally invasive procedure takes place. Instead of a scalpel, a laser is used to make the initial incision, which may be as small as .5 inches. The laser also removes any soft tissue, but other surgical techniques are used for excision of bone and ligament. Many laser spine procedures are treated in outpatient clinics, so depending on your area, hospitalization may not be required.
After the surgery, you can expect a smaller scar than from traditional surgery. Less chance of infection and a shorter recovery time are also some of the advantages. It is very likely that you will be able to get up and walk hours after your surgery. The time you will need off work depends on your physician, your overall health, and the type of work that you do. Your medical team will go over any necessary discharge plans with you. It will be necessary for someone to drive you home after the surgery, as you will not be able to operate a vehicle immediately.
There are many medical facilities that offer laser spine surgery. Be sure to do your research on your type of pain, the procedure, and the physician that will be performing it. Your medical team will be happy to share their knowledge as you begin this phase of recovery.