Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Advantages

January 11, 2022

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a form of spinal surgery in which the surgeon uses minimally invasive tools and techniques to access the spine. The approach is designed to reduce risks and complications. In the United States, it is performed by anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and orthopedic surgeons with advanced training in spinal surgery. It is an alternative to open spinal surgery. As a result, minimally invasive surgery is growing in popularity.

This growth stems from new technology, the development of minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques, and improved search for the lowest surgical risks. In fact, the minimally invasive spine surgery technique has several advantages over conventional open spinal surgery to achieve excellent clinical results and functional recovery.

The main benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery are as follows.

Smaller injury to the neurovascular bundle

With minimally invasive surgery, the neurovascular bundle is spared. The neurovascular bundle is a cluster of nerve fibers (the nerves) and blood vessels that travel together through the spine and are responsible for maintaining control of basic bodily functions such as breathing, digestion, and circulation. Because of this, perioperative neurological complications are rare in minimally invasive procedures, especially when compared to open spinal surgery.

Easier recovery process

With minimally invasive spine surgery, a single incision is made as opposed to multiple incisions made during conventional open procedures. In addition, the presence of a spinal block decreases pain during recovery and increases patient comfort by immobilizing adjacent tissue. The more nerve roots and spinal nerves that can be accessed in one operation, the faster the patient can recover after surgery. Therefore, minimally invasive spinal surgery has a shorter recovery time than conventional open spine surgery because there are fewer surgical wounds or portals of entry in the body that take longer to heal or close.

Less tissue trauma

The surgeon does not have to retract muscle or bone as much as with an open technique with the minimally invasive approach. As a result, there is less tissue trauma during surgery, and patients recover faster. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery reduces the surgical time and the recovery time from a week to three weeks. Meanwhile, minimally invasive spinal surgery reduces postoperative pain, which is one of the most important clinical complications after spine surgery.

Less blood loss and transfusion

Compared to an open procedure, minimally invasive surgery reduces blood loss during the operation and the requirement for blood transfusion. This is because less tissue trauma during the procedure leads to less bleeding. The average amount of blood loss in minimally invasive spine surgery is none or low, which is less than the open procedure.

In fact, minimally invasive spinal surgery uses a single-use vascular closure system, and wound packing with minimum surgical incisions helps to minimize hematoma accumulation. In addition, with minimally invasive surgery, the thoracic or abdominal cavity is not opened. This means less air and fewer blood clots in the chest. Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive spinal surgery results in fewer transfusions.

Less morbidity

Minimally invasive spine surgery has a lower incidence of postoperative complications than open spinal surgery does. In addition, the short hospital stay reduces the likelihood of complications after the operation, and patients can return home sooner. Therefore, minimally invasive spine surgery is associated with fewer complications and less cost, resulting in better quality for everyone concerned.

Less pain management

During the minimally invasive surgery, less pain medication is needed. Usually, only a topical anesthetic is used during the entire surgery. Pain and pain medications may still be needed after the surgical procedure, but minimally invasive spine surgery can be much less stressful for patients than open spinal surgery. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery is the safest and most comfortable form of spinal surgery because patients don’t have to endure a lot of pain.

Shorter hospital stay

Because a minimally invasive procedure is performed in two or three days rather than over several days, patients have fewer complications and shorter recovery times. This is especially beneficial for those who have been injured in a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery reduces patients’ hospital stay by about 35% compared to open spinal surgery. In addition, minimally invasive spine surgery can significantly shorten the patient’s stay in the hospital following surgery by reducing the need for postoperative diagnostic tests, like CT scans or MRI.

Lower infection rates

Open surgery is more likely to result in open wounds or cuts, all of which provide ample opportunity for bacteria to infect the patient. Minimally invasive spine surgery greatly reduces the number of cuts, thereby reducing bacteria’s chance to infect the surgery site. In addition, the smaller incisions used in minimally invasive surgery reduce the risk of post-op complications so that patients can recover more quickly after surgery.

Less scarring

The actual surgical incisions caused by minimally invasive spine surgery can be completely hidden for some patients. In most cases, scars from minimally invasive procedures fade away within two months of surgery. As for open spinal surgery, there are still visible scars on the patients’ back. In addition, because of the smaller and numerous incisions, there is less bleeding and swelling, reducing scarring.

Can be performed at an outpatient surgery center

Minimally invasive spine surgery can typically be performed in an outpatient setting. This is a major benefit for patients because it eliminates the need to stay in the hospital overnight. In addition, patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery in an outpatient setting can often go home the same day as their procedure.

Minimally invasive surgery has been clinically effective for treating several spinal disorders, including degenerative diseases such as disc herniation and compression fractures. Minimally invasive surgery is likely to continue to grow in importance in spine surgery due to increased recognition of early degenerative changes in the cervical and lumbar spines that can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. You can visit to learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Juris Shibayama, 300 StoneCrest Boulevard #300 Smyrna Tennessee 37167, 615 267 6600

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In Short Words

Dr. Juris Shibayama is an orthopedic surgeon in Smyrna, Tennessee and is affiliated TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of Illinois College of Medicine. He did his orthopedic residency training at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. He then completed a one year fellowship dedicated exclusively to spine surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. He has been in practice 13 years.

© 2022 | Juris Shibayama, M.D., Orthopedic Spine Surgeon