Frequently Asked Questions
What is endoscopic laser spine surgery?
Endoscopic laser spine surgery is a minimally invasive method of performing spinal surgery. Endoscopic surgery typically requires an incision of less than 1 inch, meaning recovery is much faster.
An endoscope is a thin tube with a tiny video camera on the end of it that the surgeon inserts through a small incision. The video camera projects images of the spine onto a video screen for the surgeon to see.
A laser is a focused light beam that generates heat that the surgeon uses in place of scalpel (knife) to repair or remove tissue.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the endoscopic laser spine surgery?
Endoscopic Laser Spine Surgery is as effective or more effective than open spinal surgery for many spinal diseases, but the advantages of endoscopic Laser Spine Surgery are tremendous.
Endoscopic Laser Spine Surgery Advantages
- Preserves spinal motion by avoiding unnecessary fusion.
- Takes days or weeks to make a recovery, rather than the months or years taken by open spinal surgery. It is a same day surgery and the ambulation starts right after the surgery in the recovery room.
- Is generally done under local and sedative anesthesia, so it avoids the risks of general anesthesia.
- Causes minimal bleeding, if any at all.
- Has a complication rate of less than three percent for occurrences such as wound infection, spinal infection, spinal cord membrane (dura) tears, nerve injuries, and other injuries, making it many times less risky than open spinal surgery. Additionally, no mortality (death of patients) has been reported worldwide related to endoscopic laser spinal surgeries.
Unfortunately, the learning curve for Endoscopic Spine Surgery is very steep. The surgeons are required to have special training, experiences, good hand skills, and passion for these cutting edge techniques. At SCA you will always have a board certified spine surgeon who is experienced and skilled at these techniques.
How can you help me when others cannot?
Since we use minimally invasive techniques, we can solve problems that are more difficult to resolve with conventional surgery. Scar tissue is less, trauma is less, and therefore we can usually solve the problem without making things worse. Also, our techniques are so advanced that we can resolve problems related to disc, bone or scar tissue.
I have spinal stenosis, can you help me?
Yes, our techniques work very well for spinal stenosis and other disorders that relate to nerves impinged by bone or disc. We can remove small amounts of disk and bone that are impinging upon the spinal cord. The removal of this bone and soft tissue is under direct observation to assure that the nerve impingement is resolved. You are awake during the procedure and can alert us to whether the problem is resolved or not
What are my costs for these procesures?
SCA is constantly trying to work to help you the patient receive the best care at a reasonable price. We accept many major insurance plans. If your insurance is not covered then we offer a fee package that includes almost every expense.
Why don’t more physicians perform this surgery?
This is very sophisticated surgery. Many surgeons would have trouble learning how to perform these procedures. Many doctors get fixed in how they treat patients. It is easier for them to treat patients with techniques that they learned in residency training, than to take the effort and risks of learning new techniques.
My doctor says he's performs this kind of surgery. Why should I go to you?
We are board certified spine surgeons and specialize in minimally invasive spinal surgery and nothing else. We take pride in helping you getting back to regular activities without pain.
Why do I have to get an evaluation?
Often we can give you an "preliminary evaluation" without even seeing you! Just contact us and we will be glad to evaluate your MRI reports, Free of Charge! We can give you a reasonable idea of whether you are a surgical candidate or not, but we cannot tell you what exactly needs to be done to solve your problem since this would require a complete evaluation by our physicians, but at least you can get some information about what options you have and whether or not we believe that we may be able to help you.