The main goal of Microdiscectomy is to take pressure off your nerves to relieve your back pain. Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is one of the most common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures.
Before the procedure
In the days before your surgery, tell your surgeon about any medications you take at home including herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications. You may be asked to stop taking aspirin or other medications that thin your blood and may increase bleeding.
- Tell your surgeon if you or someone in your family has any history of reaction to general anesthesia.
- If you smoke, you may be asked to stop smoking well before surgery and avoid smoking for a period of time after surgery.
- Before surgery you will probably be given instructions on when to stop eating and drinking. It’s common to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure.
- Ask your surgeon if you should take your regular medications with a small sip of water on the day of the procedure
During the procedure
For the procedure, you’ll typically have general anesthesia, and during the surgery, you’ll be positioned lying on your stomach. Using one of the techniques above, your surgeon will remove the part of your disc that’s pressing on your nerve or spinal cord.
Your surgeon will pay careful attention to your nerve roots during surgery and will check the areas surrounding your disc to make sure there are no other additional disc fragments that need to be removed. Usually, only a small part of your disc is removed—surgeons rarely remove most or all of your disc.
Most microdiscectomies take about an hour to complete.
The good news is that many patients have significant pain relief from a microdiscectomy and can quickly return to their normal lives, generally in less than 2 weeks. However, your doctor will advise you on how quickly you can return to exercise and your other daily activities.
A successful microdiscectomy should accomplish what a traditional open discectomy accomplishes—but with a faster, less painful recovery
Risks of the procedure
Microdiscectomy is a relatively safe procedure. However; with all surgeries carry some risks. You will need to sign a consent form that explains the risks and benefits of the surgery.
- Your pain can come back.
- Your disc can re-herniate.
- Not all of your disc material may have been removed during your procedure.
- Your spinal cord, nerves, and blood vessels can be injured.
- Reactions to the anesthesia
- Nerve injury Spinal fluid leak
- Voice change
- Loosened artificial disk Need for further surgery
There may be other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your surgeon before the procedure.