Lumbar Discectomy (Endoscopic)
Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy (LED) is an outpatient surgical procedure to remove herniated disc material. An anesthesiologist provides intravenous sedation. The surgeon also uses local anesthesia. With the help of x-ray guidance and a video endoscope, a 3mm probe is inserted through the skin into the herniated portion of the disk. The herniated nucleus is then removed with a unique hydrodiscectomy tool, suction and disc grasping instruments, thereby relieving the pressure on the nerve root. Only the herniated portion of the nucleus is removed (approximately 10 - 15 %), leaving the rest of the disc intact. The hydrodiscectomy equipment sucks out the disc material in to the tip of the probe. The disc material is then pulverized by a powerful jet of salt water which allows it to be suctioned away. The disc protrusion is decompressed in a matter of minutes. The puncture in the skin is very small (4 mm) in comparison to larger incisions required for open surgery.
Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy (LED) is different from open lumbar disc surgery because there is no large skin incision or damage to the back muscles. Most of the complications that may occur with open surgery are eliminated with the LED procedure.
Majority of the patients feel immediate relief from pain following the procedure. Walking is permitted the same day and patients are discharged from the surgical center in one hour. Some patients experience lower back muscle spasms that may last a few days following the procedure. This pain can be relieved with muscle relaxants and analgesics, heat and light massage, if needed.
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