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Open Spine Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Open Spine Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

There are significant differences between open spine surgeries and minimally invasive spine surgeries. When overall cost and procedural outcomes are analyzed, it’s not difficult to understand why Dr. Mark Giovanini at NeuroMicroSpine prefers the latter of the two.

Minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgeries are just that—minimally invasive. Those who elect to have MIS surgery typically return to work quicker, their risk of infections and complications are significantly lower, and the procedure itself is economically more cost effective.

Because the procedure does not require a large incision (incisions are usually less than an inch or two), surgeons can avoid damaging the surrounding muscles, which again, results in less pain post-op and a quicker recovery.

So, what exactly does MIS surgery entail? Many patients visiting Dr. Giovanini are apprehensive to pursue the endeavor. Although the medical team at NeuroMicroSpine can understand the feeling, there is very little to be feared.

During the procedure, a small incision is made and a tubular “retractor” is inserted through the skin, making its way down to the spinal column. As a result, a tunnel is created and the tubular retractor holds the muscles open throughout the procedure for operating ease.

The surgeon accesses the spine using small instruments that fit through the tubular retractor, and he or she is usually guided by a modern fluoroscope. Fluoroscopy, which is “the study of moving body structures,” displays real-time x-ray images of the patient's spine on a television monitor throughout the surgery. The surgeon will also use a microscope to magnify the view through the retractor.

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will remove the retractor, sew up the patient and send them off to a recovery room. The surgery shouldn’t take more than a few hours and patients can be back on their feet the next day.

For more information on whether spinal surgery is necessary for your condition, or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine, please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.