The Lowdown on Low Back Pain
(and Other Aches)


What is minimally invasive back surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery includes a collection of techniques that make surgery faster and safer by avoiding large incisions and tissue disruption. Minimally invasive procedures often rely on special scopes that can see within the abdomen or back. They use retractors that provide good access through very small openings. This technique reduces tissue damage so much that operations once requiring lengthy hospital stays can now be done without any hospitalization at all. Lumbar discectomies are one good example. These operations once required six inch incisions, a week in the hospital, and months off work. Now, only a one- or two-inch incision is needed. Most patients go home the same day and many are able to go back to work in 10 to 14 days.



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Last modified: 07/27/08