A procedure that’s been performed since the 1980s, laser spine surgery is a minimally-invasive alternative to open back surgery. It involves using a laser to cut or remove problematic tissue that’s causing chronic back pain and other symptoms. Offering some of the best laser spine surgery NJ has to offer, Dr. Joshua Rovner is adept at addressing back conditions with laser technologies.
Understanding laser spine surgery
While traditional spine surgery involves making a lengthy incision in the back to access the muscles and underlying structures, laser spine surgery requires smaller incisions, just a couple of inches long. Through those openings, the surgeon will use a laser to treat your condition, removing the ends of sensitive nerves and/or reducing the size of the spinal discs to alleviate pressure in the area.
Because laser spine surgery requires smaller incisions, the scars are minimal. However, this approach can only provide a limited view of the spine, which can result in a more challenging operation. With open back surgery, the surgeon is able to obtain a direct and unobstructed view of the entire area, which is helpful when performing complex procedures.
When patients seek out laser spine surgery, it’s typically because they’ve heard that it’s a less-invasive way to treat their condition. When the procedure is performed properly and by an experienced New Jersey laser spine surgeon, it is associated with a number of benefits. A few of the most prominent ones include:
- Less blood loss
- Minimally-invasive approach
- Faster recovery and shorter hospital stay
- Smaller incisions and minimal scarring when compared to traditional spine surgery
When Is Laser Spine Surgery An Option?
Not all conditions are treatable with laser spine surgery. Additionally, the traditional open approach will be safer and more effective in some cases even if a laser treatment is available. As such, it’s important to thoroughly research any back surgery – laser or otherwise – and speak to multiple specialists to ensure that you’re making the right decision for your condition. If you have a degenerative disorder, Dr. Rovner will not recommend laser spine surgery. In those cases, he believes that the traditional, open approach is best.
However, laser surgery can be helpful for:
- Removing spinal cord tumors
- Cutting away excess bone and tissue
- Treating a herniated or ruptured disc in some cases
- Reducing the size of a spinal disc to alleviate pain and pressure
In general, Dr. Rovner recommends laser spine surgery for minor conditions. If he believes that the procedure in your best interest, then in a personal consultation, Dr. Rovner will include the option of laser surgery in treatment planning. As a top provider of laser spine surgeon New Jersey has to offer, Dr. Rovner can quickly conclude if the procedure is right for you. However, for major spine conditions, he typically prefers open back surgery, as he believes it’s the safer and more effective option for most patients.
Risks And Complications
Although laser spine surgery is less invasive than the open approach, it’s important to note that it’s not without risk. There are a number of potential complications associated with these procedures, including:
If your NJ laser spine surgeon is inexperienced or improperly trained to perform the procedure, tissue or nerve damage may occur. Unfortunately, this can cause new symptoms and increased pain.
In some cases, laser spine surgery may prove ineffective for your condition. When this occurs, you will require an additional procedure – often a more invasive one – to adequately resolve the issue. It’s also possible for laser spine surgery to temporarily treat your symptoms but not address the root cause of the problem, which means your pain will likely recur and you may require a new treatment approach.
There are many doctors who offer and practice laser spine surgery but are not trained spinal surgeons. If an unqualified doctor performs your procedure, you are at a significantly increased risk of nerve damage and other complications. Whether you have laser, minimally-invasive or open spine surgery, it’s important to select a trusted and experienced specialist for your procedure to ensure the safest experience.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
During your initial consultation at Dr. Rovner’s New Jersey office, he will focus on determining which treatment is in your best interest. He will begin by assessing your condition, performing a full physical examination and ordering imaging tests to visualize your spine and the surrounding structures. Based on the results of this exam, he will offer guidance regarding which approach (laser, minimally-invasive or traditional) can best resolve your issue. If he determines that you will benefit from laser spine surgery, a discussion about the procedure can be had regarding it. As Dr. Rovner is one of the top providers of laser spine surgery NJ has to offer, rest assured that any laser procedures will be conducted with the utmost skill and precision.