Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of herniated disc, lower back and leg pain. The aim of surgery is to remove the herniated disc which is exerting excessive pressure on the spinal nerves to relieve the patient’s lower back and leg pain.
The surgery is performed through a small tube or trocar, inserted through the skin, down to the disc. With the help of an endoscope inserted through the trocar the surgeon is able to visualize a magnified image of the entire working area on a monitor.. The endoscope has a camera and a light source at its end which allows a better visualization of the work area and helps in precise removal of the damaged tissue. Moreover the whole procedure is performed under fluoroscopic guidance. As opposed to the open approach the muscles are retracted and not cut, therefor the procedure has a shorter recovery time.
The patient lies face down on the operating table. a mild sedative is then administered to keep them relaxed throughout the procedure. A small incision is made on the skin over the back of the patient, just above the disc space. A thin wire is inserted through the incision till it touches the damaged area of the spine under fluoroscopic guidance. A tube is then inserted through the same incision, over the guide wire. The endoscope and other special micro-surgical instruments are introduced through this tube and the segment of the herniated disc compressing the nerves is removed. The endoscope and intra-operative fluoroscopy guide the surgeon throughout the procedure. After the completion of the procedure, the tube and the endoscope are then withdrawn and the incision is closed.
Most patients experience a significant reduction in their back and leg pain after the procedure. The numbness and tingling sensations may take some time to resolve. The patient is usually discharged home on the same day of the surgery.
Risk and Complications
Some of the risks and complications associated with this surgery may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage and leakage of spinal fluid.