Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

What EXACTLY IS minimal invasive spine surgery?

Minimal invasive spine surgery deals with operating through small incisions. It means less blood loss, lee pain and early discharge for the patient. It usually involves more refined instruments , microscope and extensive expertise of surgery in such manner as learning such skills require good amount of time.

How is it helpful ?
MISS helps in an even earlier recovery in spine patients. Patients are not required to be bed ridden after surgery and can stand up or walk and resume their activities after surgery. Since the scar is smaller it also helps in better cosmesis. Blood loss is extremely low and usually no blood transfusion is required. However in long run , it is functionally same and not superior or inferior to open surgery . In patients who are very muscular , obese or previously operated on spine , MISS is more favourable.

What are the spine conditions which can be done with minimal invasive spine surgery?
Microscopic discectomy / endoscopic discectomy for disc prolapse, decompression for lumbar canal stenosis, minimal invasive TLIF are few common conditions which can be dealt with minimal invasive approach.

Are complications less with minimal invasive spine surgery?
Complication rate is same as that of open surgery.

Is it costly than open surgery?
It is slightly costlier than open surgery. But the patients are discharged early which can save the cost in that perspective. That however is the only disadvantage of MISS , if any.

Why I don’t hear or see much of MISS ?
MISS is a technically demanding skill which requires multiple years of learning and practise and working in dedicated MISS units. Most of the surgeons are not familiar or expert in MISS and hence open surgery is preferred. However mostly , even with surgeons such as us who are routinely doing spine surgery , MISS is an option , choice of which rests more with the patient.