If you’ve been told you need to have surgery on your back, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be laid up for months or suffer extraordinary pain and discomfort. In fact, when you visit the Southeastern Spine Institute in Mt. Pleasant, SC for back surgery, you can expect to be mobile and active within a week or so. Your back surgeon relies on the much less intensive practice of minimally invasive back surgery (MIBS).
MIBS is a modern, less traumatic technique for operating on your spine than traditional surgery. During a conventional procedure, your surgeon reveals your spine by making a long incision through your skin and tissue, so he can see and treat the problem area. He may even need to remove some of the muscle and other tissue to perform the operation. That doesn’t happen with MIBS.
How Does MIBS Work?
For minimally invasive back surgery, your spinal surgeon uses a smaller incision, reducing the damage to the soft tissues surrounding your spine. He inserts a tubular retractor through the incision, pushing aside the soft tissue and forming a tunnel to the area requiring treatment. He views the area with a special microscope and real-time x-rays while using special miniature tools to treat your spine through the tunnel.
Since minimally invasive procedures result in less trauma, your recovery time is quicker. Still, surgery is only required in about 10 percent of back pain cases. The doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute can usually treat most back problems with medication or physical therapy. But sometimes surgery is necessary for cases that don’t respond to gentler treatments, such as:
- Spinal fusions
- Lumbar discectomies
- Ruptured, slipped or herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal instability
- Degenerative discs
- Broken vertebra
- A spinal tumor
- Spinal infection
Despite the overwhelming success of MIBS, it’s not appropriate for all conditions. Only your spine physician can diagnose the source of your back problems and know if it’s right for you.
What Are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Back Surgery?
MIBS delivers the results of traditional open back surgery without the associated problems. In contrast to minimally invasive back surgery, open surgery often carries negative consequences, such as:
- Large incisions
- Muscle damage
- Additional anesthesia
- More hospital time
- A longer rehabilitation period
A minimally invasive procedure avoids these problems. You can look forward to better results, including:
- You can expect a few small incidental scars instead of a long, noticeable one.
- You’re back home in days after surgery instead of weeks; some surgeries are outpatient procedures, meaning you’re home later that day.
- There’s typically less pain after the surgery.
- Your rehabilitation is shorter, meaning a quicker return to everyday life.
- There’s a reduced loss of blood during the procedure.
- Surgeons expect a lower risk of infection.
What Can I Expect after Minimally Invasive Back Surgery?
Even if your MIBS procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, you still need to spend a few hours at the Institute after the procedure so the staff can monitor you for any complications. Since you’re likely to be woozy, you need to arrange to have someone drive you home afterward.
You’ll likely experience some discomfort after the procedure, but over-the-counter medications provide enough relief. You may return to your regular diet as soon as you feel ready. Follow your doctor’s instructions, such as recommended exercises or wearing a back brace.
The Southeastern Spine Institute has a world-class collection of surgeons and on-site ambulatory surgical centers for MIBS procedures in their new state-of-the-art 65,000-foot facility. Call them today to schedule your initial consultation. There’s no need to live with back pain.