This minimally-invasive procedure is performed through a tubular device. It is designed to relieve pain caused by herniated discs pressing on nerve roots. This surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, which allows the patient to leave the hospital the same day.
Guide Wire Inserted
A guide wire is inserted through a small incision
and is pushed to the affected disc level. The
surgeon uses a special type of x-ray machine called
a fluoroscope to ensure that the route to the
herniated disc is made in the correct location.
Dilating Tubes Inserted
A series of dilating tubes are passed over the guide
wire to push apart the tissue down to the vertebrae.
The guide wire is then removed.
The tubular retractor, through which the surgery will
be performed, is slid over the dilating tubes. It is
positioned on the bone surface. All the dilating
tubes are then removed.
A surgical light and small camera or microscope are
used to see through the tube. Surgical instruments
are used to clear away bone and soft tissue in order
to access the spinal canal.
Spinal Nerve Moved
The surgeon uses a nerve retractor to gently move
the nerve away from the herniated disc.
Herniated Portion Cleared
The herniated portion of the disc is removed and
the area is cleared, which allows room for the nerve
to move back to its normal position.
End of Procedure
The tubular retractor is removed, allowing the body
tissue to close around the surgery area. The
surface wound is closed with a small bandage.