As with many surgical specialties, there are frequent advances in the practice of neurosurgery, and Dr. Ryan DenHaese and his team focus on being up-to-date with the surgical techniques having the best patient outcomes.
One of these techniques is MINIMALLY INVASIVE, MINIMAL ACCESS SPINE SURGERY.
Minimally invasive neurosurgery is desired when the patient’s specific surgical need allows that choice because the patient benefits from smaller incisions and less trauma to the muscles and nerves at the operative site.
In addition to the surgical resolution of the patient’s condition, the improved patient outcomes of minimally invasive neurosurgery include:
- Less tissue destruction
- Less blood loss
- Decreased risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster recovery times and rehabilitation
Minimally invasive or minimal access spinal surgery is an option for certain lumbar and cervical conditions, such as disc ruptures, but may not be an option in all cases or for other conditions.
If you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, Dr. DenHaese will discuss YOUR specific surgical details with you prior to surgery, but we have some general details for you below.
From the first attempts at surgery by our prehistoric human relatives (which was actually a form of brain surgery), the main risks to surgery have been from bleeding, infection and pain.
Traditional surgical methods have always required cutting into the skin, muscles and other tissues to reach the site of the problem. In order to visualize the area which needed to be operated on (the operative field), surgical assistants had to pull back on the recently cut muscles and tissues using metal clamps, and apply cautery and suction to minimize blood loss.
So, a traditional surgical procedure usually last longer, and could result in cutting, tugging, pulling and impacting on areas which are NOT the problem, just so the surgeon can reach the area to be corrected. THIS is what results in longer hospital stays, longer recovery times, more blood loss, more pain, and more risk of infection.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY
Minimally invasive neurosurgery focuses on accessing the part of the spine needing surgery (such as the disc), through a small incision, and the introduction of a small tube (called a cannula). The resulting impact on the muscles, nerves, and other tissues is far less.
Dr. DenHaese then inserts small surgical instruments developed specifically for neurosurgery into the cannula. These instruments are “endoscopic”, allowing Dr. DenHaese to visualize the operative site and perform the necessary surgical procedures all through this small opening. Patients have less pain, less chance of infection, and a faster recovery time.