Laserdisc surgery and traditional spine surgery are both very widely used and if you are facing a problem in your spine and have considered surgery, it is important to understand the advantages and drawbacks of both of them. Spine surgeries are mainly performed to reduce the pressure of the nerves that can lead to more problems such as muscle weakness and numbness.
- Traditional surgery
Traditional surgery is a procedure where a surgeon uses a long incision to achieve access to the location in the spine that requires treatment. After the completion of this step, the next is to move the back muscle and other nearby tissues at a distance from the spine so that the surgeons can access the exact area without causing harm or destruction to other nearby parts, but even with precaution, traditional surgeries lead to tissue damage and the duration of recovery is longer.
People who have been diagnosed with injuries in the spine, and disorders that are related to the pelvic organs, usually opt for a traditional type of spine surgery.
- Laser surgery
When opting for laser surgery, just as the name suggests, a laser is used to remove other tissues and nerves of the back to have access to the affected area. This reduces the chances of injury but unlike other types, it is recommended only for a few specific health conditions such as in the case of people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis, bulging disc, slip disc, degeneration of disc disease and sciatica.
Due to the less risk of injuries and its less invasive properties, many people are choosing to go for laser surgeries.
- Benefits of laser surgery
The first advantage of laser surgery is that it is less invasive as compared to traditional approaches and can be conducted even in an outpatient setting by just using local anaesthesia. But along with benefits, there are certain drawbacks as well.
- Firstly, it cannot be performed to secure all back problems. It is meant for certain conditions only. If the condition of the spine is more critical, then a more traditional surgical approach is a better option due to hands-on experience.
- In some cases, there is a requirement for additional surgery to treat the condition along with laser surgery for complete improvement.
So a final decision on which method is better depends completely upon the reason and cause of the spinal surgery. Every disorder has a different level of severity in each individual, so a decision can be made only after analysing the condition of the back and as per the recommendations made by the doctor.
While laser surgery is very accurate and perfect for providing treatment for certain types of conditions, some cases might require more perfection due to high risk, so traditional surgeries are more suitable. If you have a choice between the two types, try to measure the pros and cons of both methods and consult your doctor for recommendations before making a firm decision.
Dr Jwalant S Mehta is a consultant spinal surgeon who is based in Birmingham at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. His London spine unit consists of a team of professionals who are experienced in dealing with spinal deformities and surgeries.