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Laser Spine Surgery v. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to spine treatment, there are several options available to patients in need of care. Your spine doctor will prepare you with the treatments that may be a good fit to alleviate your condition, but it is also important to educate yourself on the surgical remedies available. More specifically, these surgeries include laser spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Laser Spine Surgery

Laser spine surgery consists of surgeons using laser technology to remove areas of soft tissue that may be compressing critical nerves throughout the spine. Although laser spine surgery is sold to patients as the “least invasive” surgical option with a faster recovery process, the procedure actually cannot be used for most spine conditions. According to Health Essentials, laser spine surgery is an appropriate treatment option when removing tumors from the spinal cord or shrinking disc material around a nerve.

As laser spine surgery has become more popular among society over the last 10 years, medical professionals have tried to rationalize growing controversy surrounding the subject. The Journal Sentinel explains, “People think a laser beam shoots through their skin and their pain is gone. There is also a greater risk of damaging nerves or tissue with a laser, and most importantly, there is no scientific evidence to suggest laser spine surgery is in any way superior to a non-laser approach.” Additionally, organizations supporting laser spine surgery, like the Laser Spine Institute, have closed due to lack of financing during trying times.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Initially, minimally invasive spine surgery was created to treat spine conditions without severely injuring surrounding muscles or spinal structure. Developed as a more stable and less invasive alternative to traditional (or open) surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery is becoming an increasingly common treatment option for a variety of spine conditions.

Minimally invasive spine surgery allows the surgeon to make a small incision in order to use a tool to tunnel to the origin site of the pain. Consequentially, there is less opportunity for complications to arise during or after minimally invasive spine surgery. In addition, minimally invasive surgery does not involve the cutting or pulling of muscles to the extent of traditional surgical methods.

Laser spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery offer their respective pros and cons. When it comes to choosing the right surgical procedure to treat your spine condition, be sure to consult your doctor. Each surgical option will only perform as well as the surgeon tasked to alleviate your pain. Trust the experts at Spine Solutions to give you the tools you need to decide which treatment option is right for you. To schedule a consultation at one of our South Florida offices, call Spine Solutions at (954) 329-1769.

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