3 Things You Need To Know When Considering Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

If you are one of many people who experiences horrible back pain, you have likely wondered if back surgery would be helpful. Your doctor has likely even suggested surgery after the failure of other forms of therapy for your back. You might be thinking that you don't want to go through something as major as back surgery, but medical technology has actually improved the procedure in recent years. Now, you can have back surgery that doesn't require such a large incision. Here are three things you need to know when considering minimally invasive back surgery.

1. Most types of back pain are helped by minimally invasive surgery.

When your doctor tells you that your back needs surgery, you may wonder if you can have the minimally invasive option instead of the traditional, open back surgery. Most back and spine conditions can be treated with the minimally invasive procedure. There are some cases when the open surgery is needed, such as if you have an extensive infection in the spinal area or if you have high-degree scoliosis. Your doctor will discuss which type of surgical procedure is the best choice for your case.

2. You will still have a significant recovery time after the surgery.

One misconception that many people have about minimally invasive back surgery is that there isn't much of a recovery time. This is not true. While the incision isn't going to be as large as traditional back surgery, you are still having a major procedure performed. After having the surgery, you can expect to spend at least six weeks in recovery. Of course, every patient recovers differently, so you could take longer to get back to normal activity after the surgery. Still, six weeks is better than the six to twelve months that it takes for most patients to recover from traditional open back surgery.

3. The potential risks with back surgery are still present in the minimally invasive procedure.

Some people will choose the minimally invasive method because they think there are no risks associated with it. The truth is there are still several risks with the minimally invasive back surgery. Any time that your body goes through a traumatic event - which is what any type of surgery is - there is a potential for things to go wrong. Some of the risks involved with minimally invasive back surgery include:

  • Blood clots
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Bad reaction to anesthetic
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Death

However, most of those risks are present for any type of surgery. You need to discuss the risk potential for your case with your doctor. If you have other health problems, it may be that the risks outweigh the good that can come from the surgery. That is why it is important that you don't decide on getting even the minimally invasive back surgery without first getting a second opinion about it.