A good view of the surgical field is the primary necessity for achieving the surgical aims. Most spinal surgical techniques entail direct manipulation, reconstruction, or replacement of the surgeon’s sick region.
In some cases, surgeons used to perform considerable bone removal previously due to the deep anatomical placement of the spinal structure, extensive skin incisions, and vast tissue dissection. Overall, this has resulted in a high number of problems and low patient satisfaction.
Endoscopic spine surgery is a cutting-edge minimally invasive spine surgery technique that has changed the treatment of back and neck conditions. The surgeon inserts small tubes through millimetre-long skin cuts with the help of a high-definition camera (called an endoscope). This means that:
- No general anaesthesia is required.
- Healthy tissues around the damaged section of the spine are spared as much as possible.
- Less blood loss.
- The spine’s normal mobility is preserved.
- Quicker recovery.
- Less discomfort.
- Fewer medications.
- Less complications.
- Overall, improved clinical results.
Dr. Gurneet Singh Sawhney, one of the leading spine surgeon in Mumbai, has immense expertise in endoscopic spine surgery. Also, he is considered one of the top neurosurgeon in India due to his great deal of knowledge and skills in executing complex neurosurgeries.
Please continue reading to learn more about endoscopic spine surgery, including its procedure, benefits, and more.
First, let’s know,
What is spinal endoscopy?
During spinal endoscopy, the surgeon passes a tiny endoscope through the tailbone into the epidural region. This enables direct visual imaging of the spinal canal’s interior. Because the endoscope looks into the epidural area, spinal endoscopy is also known as epiduroscopy.
The surgeon attempts to remove some of the scar tissue or adhesions formed around trapped nerves during the procedure. The use of a spinal endoscope may aid in delivering medications to the damaged areas, notably the spinal nerve roots.
Who is an ideal candidate for spinal endoscopy?
- Patients who have had previous lumbar spine surgery are the most suitable candidates for spinal endoscopy. The majority of these patients had scarring seen on MRIs or other X-rays.
- Surgeons may recommend spinal endoscopy to patients who haven’t had back surgery but haven’t reacted well to previous therapies. Endoscopy of the spine is usually done only when other, more conservative treatments have failed.
How to choose the best endoscopic spine surgeon?
- Finding a specific type of spine specialist in your area may appear to be a challenging task.
- Your healthcare providers, particularly your primary care physician, are a terrific place to start. They are familiar with your medical history and have most likely offered you non-surgical treatment before considering spine surgery.
- It’s usually a good idea to double-check that your spine surgeon is well-trained and experienced in the surgical technique you have been suggested.
The procedure of Endoscopic Spine Surgery
- First, the surgeon prepares the patient for surgery, including administering local anaesthesia to relieve pain.
- The surgeon inserts a tubular trocar (about the width of a pencil) through a 1-inch or smaller skin incision.
- The endoscopic procedure may access the spine using one of two ways, depending on the patient’s specific diagnosis:
(i) Intralaminar (from the rear of the spine between two laminae)
(ii) Transforaminal (a nerve passageway from the back/side of the spine into the neuroforamen).
- During the surgical procedure, the endoscopic camera assists and guides the surgeon. Then, through the trocar, the surgeon places a small camera into the targeted location of the spine.
- The camera captures and projects real-time photos of the surgical site onto a monitor in the surgeon’s direct vision throughout the surgery.
Benefits vs. Risks of Endoscopic Spine Surgery
There are always benefits and risks connected with any spine surgery, including ESS. That’s why you and your spine surgeon should think about and evaluate the potential benefits and risks of using endoscopic spine surgery to repair your spinal problem.
- Small surgical site incisions and hyper-targeting result in less skin, muscle, and soft tissue stress, resulting in less blood loss and faster recovery.
- Furthermore, most ESS procedures take only an hour to complete, allowing patients to be back on their feet within a few days of recovery.
- ESS is a highly skilled surgical skill that is still in its early stages. As a result, only a few spine surgeons are adept with ESS procedures.
- Endoscopic spine surgery is usually not recommended for revision surgery, evident spinal instability, high-grade spondylolisthesis, and/or malignancy.
Endoscopic spine surgery is a novel spine surgery alternative thanks to advancements in technology and technique. The potential benefits of this extreme version of minimally invasive surgery in the hands of a highly skilled and experienced spine surgeon may give relief to patients suffering from chronic back and neck discomfort.