In some instances of back injury, your doctor may recommend laser spine surgery. This sounds harmless enough. You might envision a procedure where you aren’t even cut open. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
What is Laser Spine Surgery?
Laser Spine Surgery is a surgical process where a small incision is made, and a laser is used to fuse the spine where it is needed. This is done with the use of an endoscopic telescope. This process can be used to remove bone spurs, to untangle nerves, or repair herniated disks, and a number of other back problems.
This type of surgery causes fewer problems than traditional forms of surgery, where large incisions are made. There are fewer instances of arthritis that occur, and fewer problems that occur simply because the surgery is less invasive.
What are the Positive Aspects of Laser Spine Surgery?
One of the biggest benefits of laser spine surgery is that the patient typically does not have to be put to sleep – which brings its own dangers. Local anesthetic can be used instead. The patient can, however, be sedated with a mild sedative just to calm the nerves and make him or her not really care what the surgeons are doing.
Another benefit of this type of surgery is that the surgery only takes about an hour or less, and the patient can usually go home the same day of the surgery, which significantly reduces the cost. Most patients are capable of walking out of the hospital when they are released, and there is no potential for injury to any major organs during the procedure.
What are the Negative Aspects of Laser Spine Surgery?
In some instances, patients have reported damage done to the bowels after laser spine surgery, but this is rare. One of the biggest risks associated with the surgery is that it may not work. Because this type of procedure is relatively new, many insurance plans won’t cover it, or won’t cover it as much as they would cover a traditional surgery.
Other than this, there is no risk for this type of surgery, but you may not be a good candidate for this type of surgery. You will need to discuss this option with your doctor, and with a surgeon who performs laser surgery, to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this type of procedure, and you will also need to contact your insurance company to see if they cover this type of procedure.
September 11th, 2010
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