Endoscopic Laser Decompression
It is a laser treatment to treat back pain and nerve impingement associated with slipped disc. It is a new paradigm shift – like that of angioplasty to treat blocked coronaries versus that of open bypass surgery. With direct vision, the herniated disc can be decompressed and shrunk effectively with little complications and no downtime. The minimally invasive procedure serves to remove pressure that is placed on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots in the spinal column as a result of a number of spinal conditions.
Patient will be under local anaesthesia and X-ray. The tissue can be reached at a 90-degree angle using the Video Guided Catheter and, by this means, the risks of nerve injuries are greatly reduced, compared to traditional treatments.
Who will benefit from Endoscopic Laser Decompression?
- suffer from severe chronic back pain and neck pain
- suffer from spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal)
- have failed previous back surgeries and do not want open surgery
How is Endoscopic Laser Decompression done?
A tiny incision is made for a round tube and scope into the spinal canal for a clear viewing. A fibre laser within the round tube inserted earlier is used to burn disc or free any scarred nerves. It allows the surgeon to remove disc tissue that is impinging a nerve in the foramen.
Is the pain relief permanent?
The light laser of holium will vaporise the herniated disc, causing shrinkage of the prolapsed disc. This is as permanent as open surgical technique. However, it may not be as thorough as that of surgical discectomy.
Recurrence of slipped disc can be due to varying factors, including disc injury, disc degeneration and tears.
What are the risks and side effects?
The risks and “downtime” for this endoscopic laser decompression is generally low.
In endoscopic laser decompression, even though the procedure is done under direct vision, the heat from the light laser can cause thermal injury to the surrounding nerves. This nerve injury can cause weakness in that particular nerve. Fortunately, the risk is small, less than 5%, and its effects are not permanent.