Endoscopy refers to inserting microscopic cameras into the body through tiny incisions which throw up pictures of the inside of the body onto a screen. Endoscopy has been used for diagnostic purposes since the 1970s. Endoscopy for surgery has become popular from the 1990s.
Endoscopic spine surgery is a state-of-the-art surgery technique which involves micro incisions and minute tubes that cause almost no damage to surrounding tissues and muscles. It is a minimally invasive surgery and it is also called a pinhole surgery.
What are the advantages of endoscopic pinhole spine surgery?
There are a lot of reasons why doctors opt for an endoscopic surgery-
• It is also called Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) because it causes little blood loss
• Recovery is almost immediate. A person can resume everyday activities within a week
• Very little pain around the surgery region so minimum pain medication is needed.
• No muscle or bone is removed.
• Since screws and rods are not used, full mobility of the spine can be restored
• The wounds are minute and do not usually require stitches and thus no ugly scars are left after the wounds heal.
What are the characteristics of an endoscopic spine surgery?
• The surgery is performed under local anaesthesia
• The person is discharged within 24 hours of the surgery
• The incisions that are made are microscopic
What are the different types of endoscopic surgery?
It is the least invasive of all spinal surgeries. It is used for treating herniated discs. Endoscopy reveals images of the spine. Through the same tunnel, surgery tools are inserted and the bulging or herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. The wound does not always require stitches to close it.
This a substitute for open laminotomy. The camera helps locate exactly where the target area is. Then an incision is made below and above the lamina to relieve the pressure compressing the nerve.
Endoscopic facet rhizotomy:
With microscopic cameras, the nerves causing pain are identified and then the laser is used to numb these nerves which relieve pain. This type of surgery can also remedy a previously botched spinal surgery, facet joint arthritis or facet joint pain
This type of surgery again uses microscopic surgical tools guided by a tiny camera to enlarge a narrowed neuro of spinal nerve root canal to give it more room to move about without being compressed.