Millions of people suffer from slipped or bulging discs in their lower backs each year.
This painful condition can limit your ability to move and carry out normal activities like walking, cleaning, and driving. You may effectively overcome a bulging or slipped disc by undergoing a medical procedure called a laser endoscopic microdiscectomy.
What is a Laser Endoscopic Microdiscectomy?
A laser endoscopic microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive. It involves removing disc material in the lower back that is pressing on the nerve roots or spinal cord. The incision for this type of surgery is smaller than the one used for traditional back surgery.
Although it is performed under general anesthesia, it is rare that patients have to stay overnight in the hospital. Most people go home to recuperate several hours after their surgeries are finished.
A laser endoscopic microdiscectomy is done to address conditions and symptoms like nerve damage, weakness, and loss of feeling in the legs. It is also done to treat bulging or herniated discs or degenerative disc disease.
How is Laser Endoscopic Microdiscectomy Performed?
Laser endoscopic microdiscectomy is performed under general anesthesia in a single day surgery center or hospital. Once you are sedated, your surgeon will make an incision in the back of the spine.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon will separate the muscles and nerves in the lower back to expose the damaged disc. Using various surgical instruments, the surgeon will then remove the disc, thus relieving the pain and pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord. Once the damaged disc is removed, the surgeon will close the incision with surgical glue or sutures. The incision will also be bandaged before you are taken to a recovery room to be monitored and awaken from anesthesia.
Once you are deemed stable and in good health, you will be released to go home to recuperate. In the rare event you suffer complications like bleeding, infection, or allergic reactions, you may have to stay one or two days in the hospital for further treatment.
Laser Endoscopic Microdiscectomy Recovery
Recovering from laser endoscopic microdiscectomy can take several weeks. For the first few days after your procedure, you are advised to rest and limit your activities. Your doctor will tell you to avoid taking a bath or submerging yourself in a hot tub or swimming pool. However, you also should avoid sitting for prolonged periods to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Your surgeon will also instruct you to avoid heavy lifting and activities like driving for two to four weeks after the operation. You likewise should avoid smoking, which can lead to infection. You should avoid taking pain relievers with aspirin, which can thin your blood and cause bleeding.
A bulging or herniated disc is a condition that sometimes will not go away on its own. When yours is not healing as it should, it may be time to undergo surgery for it. You could find permanent pain relief by undergoing a specialized procedure for the lower back called a laser endoscopic microdiscectomy.