Minimally Invasive Surgery

Other terms related to MIS are minimal access spine surgery, endoscopic spine surgery, or laser spine surgery. This spine surgery is minimally invasive because surgery is performed through one or more small incisions or punctures through which tubular retractors or an endoscope is inserted. MIS helps to reduce the risk of infection and decrease pain, facilitates faster recovery, and improves back muscle function.

Tubular retractors spare cutting through muscles and soft tissues and minimize damage. Tubular retractors gently and progressively dilate and separate muscles and soft tissues to the operative field. Using specialized instruments and microscopic visualization, surgery is performed through the tube.

Endoscopes are thin tubes with a light source and camera. The endoscope is inserted through a small stab / incision and positioned. Small instruments are passed through the endoscope to the surgical site where the surgeon performs the procedure. The endoscopic set up enables the surgeon to view the surgery on a monitor.

By contrast, traditional open spine surgery requires a long incision and cutting through muscles, which causes soft tissue damage and means a longer recovery.

Open surgery means longer incisions and muscle injury.

Watch Animation of Minimally Invasive Procedure

Surgery is performed through small tubular MIS retractors with special internal lighting. Postoperative picture after a 3-level revision with instrumentation. White dressings are the MIS incisions. The purple line shows the old open incision from initial surgery.

MIS: Patient Benefits:
Patients with high expectations to return to work and active play find minimally invasive spine surgery offers many benefits. Even patients who are elderly, obese, or have a complex spinal problem, such as deformity or trauma may also benefit from MIS surgery.