Benefits of Laser Spine Surgery
Minimizes Trauma and Scarring
Endoscopic laser spine surgery involves a very small incision and leaves virtually no scar. There is minimal trauma to the surrounding muscles, tissue and bony anatomy.
Shorter Recovery Time
When compared to traditional open back surgery, laser spine surgery has a much faster, easier recovery period and less post-surgical pain and bleeding.
Precise and Effective
Thanks to fluoroscopic guidance and the precision of the medical laser, the procedure is highly accurate and effective, making it a safe alternative to open surgery.
What is Laser Spine Surgery?
Traditional open spine surgery requires making a large incision. The muscles are dissected and moved away from the vertebrae so the surgeon can see the spinal pathology. This can cause trauma to the muscle and surrounding tissues and often involves more significant postoperative pain and blood loss, as well as a lengthier recovery time.
Endoscopic laser spine surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to open spine surgery. Dr. Choi makes a small incision, through which he inserts a cannula about the size of a pen. He then uses surgical tools and fluoroscopic guidance to access the affected area of the spine.
A medical laser is used to repair and/or remove damaged disc tissue. It can also remove soft tissue, bone and any other structures that are compressing your nerves. This approach results in minimal or no damage to the surrounding anatomy and leaves virtually no scar.
Types of Laser Spine Surgery
Dr. Choi and our team offer two main types of laser spine surgery in Long Island:
Laser facet joint nerve ablation is effective for alleviating chronic pain due to arthritis in the spine. The outpatient procedure is an excellent way to avoid the long-term use of injections or medications.
During the surgery, Dr. Choi makes a tiny incision above the arthritic facet joints, which are the joints that connect each of the vertebrae in the spine. He then inserts an endoscope in order to get a clear visual of the tiny nerves in the joints.
Once Dr. Choi isolates the nerves, he uses a laser to ablate, or deaden, them. This prevents the nerves from sending pain signals to your brain, significantly reducing discomfort, while keeping the structure of your spine intact.
Endoscopic laser disc decompression is a minimally invasive procedure to treat a ruptured or injured disc. The surgery can be performed under just local anesthesia, helping you bypass the risks associated with general anesthesia.
During endoscopic laser disc decompression, Dr. Choi makes a small incision above the damaged disc. He inserts an endoscope into the disc with the help of fluoroscopic guidance. Laser energy is then used to ablate, or remove, the damaged disc tissue and decompress the nerve, which is the source of your pain.
Am I a Candidate for Laser Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive laser spine surgery may be ideal for patients who:
- Suffer from a herniated disc, sciatica, spinal stenosis or other spinal conditions
- Are unable to work, engage in daily activities or exercise because of their condition
- Have not experienced improvement after exhausting conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy and injections
Laser spine surgery isn’t appropriate for everyone and all conditions. We generally use it to treat disc issues and arthritis in the spine when nonsurgical treatments fail. However, the only way to determine if you’re a candidate is to visit our Long Island spine specialist for a consultation.
At this initial visit, Dr. Choi will talk with you about your symptoms, medical history and concerns. He’ll then review your imaging studies and perform a physical examination. Dr. Choi will present you with a diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations, and answer any questions you have. He always takes the time to ensure you fully understand your condition and the risks and benefits of your treatment options.