Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine techniques have revolutionized how back pain is treated and how patients recover and go on to enjoy a pain-free life. The DISC Spine Institute’s industry-leading, board-certified doctors are specially trained to perform minimally invasive spine surgeries. However, surgery is used only as a last resort. DISC Spine Institute prides itself on making every attempt to heal your pain using non-surgical options first. We are known for our conservative approach, and for providing the best patient care in the industry.

What is minimally invasive spine surgery?

Advances in technology and advanced training by leading spinal surgeons like those at the DISC Spine Institute have made minimally invasive surgical procedures a popular and ever-growing option for those suffering from chronic back or neck pain. Specialized instruments and precise techniques help preserve muscles fibers, ligaments, and tendons to minimize trauma and pain, and speed up the recovery process.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery typically means less operative time, less anesthesia, and less blood loss, and procedures are commonly done as outpatient procedures or overnight stays. This dramatically reduces the hospital time and allows patients to get back to work—and fun—significantly faster when compared to traditional surgery.

Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what typical patients can expect from some of the most common minimally invasive procedures.

The Importance of a Proper Diagnosis

Most people suffer from back pain at one time or another, and many wait it out in the hope that the pain will go away on its own. However, delaying treatment prolongs the discomfort and can also be dangerous, worsening your condition or advancing to more dangerous ailments.

The DISC Spine Institute takes your pain seriously. During your first appointment, you’ll fill out registration forms and provide any other pertinent information. You will have an opportunity to discuss your symptoms with our staff and our trusted surgeons will carefully study your medical history and MRI, if you have already had one. Make sure you alert the doctors to any previous medical conditions, which can help us better understand your pain triggers and identify the source of your injury or ailment. We will also determine if you need any additional tests, including x-rays or MRIs.

Once these steps have been completed, we will have gathered enough information to make a diagnosis and develop your treatment plan.

Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery

Minimally invasive techniques eliminate much of what makes spinal surgery so unpleasant and so scary. Specific benefits include:

Smaller incisions—Instead of an incision six inches or longer, you could have one as tiny as a half an inch. That’s preferred from a cosmetic standpoint and also reduces the chance of infection.

3mm Incision

3mm
9mm Incision

9mm

Less time on the operating table—Some minimally invasive procedures are completed in just 20 to 30 minutes.

Less time in the hospital—You can spend a week or more in the hospital after some traditional surgeries. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to reduce the hospitalization time in half with minimally invasive surgeries, but many are done as outpatient procedures with no hospitalization.

Less damage to muscles and tissues—Instead of long incisions with muscles and tendons cut through in order to reach the affected area, minimally invasive surgery limits the exposure of the anatomy and minimizes damage to muscles and tissues.

Less blood loss—The blood loss can be 90% less in minimally invasive surgery as opposed to a traditional spinal surgery.

Fewer complications—Everything from the time spent under anesthesia to less surgical time to the smaller incision combines to lower the risk of complications related to minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery is considered safer than traditional surgery—All of the above factors combine to make this type of procedure safer and easier to tolerate.

Conditions treated by minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive surgical procedures can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

Minimally invasive surgical procedures

Fortunately, most people who suffer from chronic back pain can be successfully treated through conservative treatments like anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, and physical therapy. If a patient is still in pain after several months or if surgery is the best option for your condition, we will proceed with a surgical procedure to remove your pain by the least invasive means possible.

Only about 10 percent of today’s spinal surgeons have the specialized training and technical skill to perform some of the most advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures. That includes surgeons Dr. Mark C. Valente and Dr. Andy Indresano of the DISC Spine Institute, two renowned leaders in their field. Drs. Valente and Indresano regularly perform minimally invasive spinal surgeries including:

  • Endoscopic Microdiscectomy — Minimally invasive discectomies are performed through incisions less than an inch long, with specialized instruments and microscopes used to create a small window in the bone to remove the piece of disc material that is compressing the nerve. Typically, about 5% is removed. This procedure involves very minimal blood loss, is done on an outpatient basis, and is sutureless.
  • Endoscopic Lumbar Fusion (MIS TLIF) — A minimally invasive TLIF is performed through an incision measuring one inch with no sutures. The disc is carefully removed and a spacer block with bone graft put in place. The vertebrae later grow into the bone graft to create a stable fusion of the two bones.
  • Direct Lateral Anterior Fusion (XLIF) — A minimally invasive XLIF is another fusion procedure, but is performed through small incisions in the side instead of the front or back. This is also a minimally invasive procedure and is sutureless.
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) — A minimally invasive ALIF is a spinal fusion that is performed through a small incision in the front of the body. A small incision is typically made near the belly button.

Hospital Stay

Hospital Stay

Outpatient

Patients usually leave within hours after their procedure.

Surgery Type

Surgery Type

Minimally Invasive

Incisions are as small as 3 mm.

Blood Loss

Blood Loss

Minimal

This procedure will cause minimal blood loss with limited tissue disruption.

Recovery Time

Recovery Time

Hours to weeks

Patients are usually up and walking hours after surgery. Full recovery to daily activities varies with surgery type.

Surgery Time

Surgery Time

Minutes

The procedure is approximately 30 minutes.

Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.


Recovery

There are a number of factors that can affect the recovery time after surgery, but minimally invasive surgery typically shortens the recovery period, and reduces the pain and discomfort. One thing you can count on is that the entire staff at the DISC Spine Institute will be committed to guiding you through the entire process, from your first appointment and diagnosis, to the moment you are released to go back to work and resume your life.

Our experienced medical assistants and physician assistants complement Dr. Valente and Dr. Indresano in providing an enhanced level of support throughout the recovery phase, with any necessary pain medications, muscle relaxants, support bracing, metabolic supplements, and physical therapy, where indicated. Everything we do here at the DISC Spine Institute is with one goal in mind: To get you back to enjoying the life you deserve, in as little time as possible.


Meet some of the Most Trusted Spine Doctors in North Texas

Fast Facts about Dr. Valente

  • Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
  • Nationwide, ranked Number 3 among all orthopedic surgeons sitting for oral board examination (AOBOS)
  • Has been appointed to Clinical Instructor positions at both Michigan State University and the University of California
  • Has lectured and published extensively
  • Participated in numerous research protocols
Dr. Mark Valente

Fast Facts about Dr. Indresano

  • Board Certified and fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon
  • Graduated top of his class at University of California, San Diego
  • Received Fellow Research award for spine research at University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Extensively published in leading, peer-reviewed medical journals
  • Served as Academic Chief of residency program during his time in San Diego
Dr Andy Indresano

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