If you have any kind of spinal instability in your vertebrae or spinal joints, or any pressure causing nerve irritation or damage, the pain can be debilitating. From herniated and degenerated discs to spinal stenosis and misshapen vertebrae, there are multiple ways your back can put you out of commission. And while surgery is never the first course of treatment, it may be the only solution if nothing else solves the problem.
But open surgery, whether on your spine or elsewhere on your body, comes with many potential complications. That’s why Dr. Desh Sahni here at Capital Brain and Spine specializes in a different kind of treatment called minimally invasive spine surgery.
Residents throughout the greater Austin, Texas, area seek out Dr. Sahni’s expertise for procedures such as kyphoplasty, corpectomy, and spinal fusion surgeries. He is known for his precision, success rate, and compassionate care.
Minimally invasive surgery vs. open surgery
Your vertebrae, nerves, and discs are housed deep within your spine, and to access them, surgeons have to cut through and move a lot of muscle and other tissue. Traditional open surgery makes a large incision and uses a dissector to pull those tissues out of the way during the procedure.
Dr. Sahni opts for a far less invasive technique that allows him to make very small incisions. Instead of muscle dissectors, he uses a narrow tubular retractor that slips into the space to give him access without damaging too much of the surrounding tissue. Aided by computer-guided imagery and even robotic devices, Dr. Sahni can perform a more precise surgery.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery
Minimally invasive spine surgery may be right for you if you’ve tried other treatment options and haven’t had any relief from your symptoms. Physical therapy and medication are typically the first line of defense and are often quite effective.
But if your symptoms aren’t getting better, or are getting worse, surgery may be the next step — but which kind? Here are the advantages of minimally invasive surgery over open surgery.
1. Less traumatic
When you have surgery, your body undergoes a certain amount of trauma. In addition to the condition being treated, you have to recover from the muscle and tissue damage caused by the procedure. Minimally invasive surgery involves little to no muscle cutting, so your body can focus on healing the disc, nerves, and vertebrae and not the muscle.
2. Less painful
Smaller incisions and less damage mean that you experience far less pain when you come out of surgery and for the days and weeks ahead. This also means that you need less pain medication following surgery, decreasing the potential for becoming dependent on it.
3. Faster recovery time
The main goal of spine surgery is to get rid of the pain you’ve been experiencing for months or years. Open surgery increases your pain and requires a long recovery process, including long-term rehabilitation. But minimally invasive surgery shortens that process considerably, getting you back into your regular activities faster.
4. Fewer complications
All surgical procedures come with risks, but minimally invasive spine surgery cuts the list of potential complications down to only two: possible reaction to anesthesia and possible infection at the incision site.
With minimally invasive spine surgery, you sidestep common problems like:
- Excess blood loss
- Pain medication dependency
- Large scars
- Postoperative pain
- Physical therapy challenges
Dr. Sahni’s patients whose conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery recover quickly and completely with few, if any, complications.
Not all conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery; sometimes open surgery is necessary. But when it’s an option, minimally invasive surgery offers significant benefits. To find out if you’re a good candidate, call us or request an appointment online today.