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Minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery

What does endoscopic resp. minimally invasive mean?

An endoscope (from greek endon 'inside' and skopein 'to look') is an instrument which the surgeon uses to examine the interior of the body. The incision is small (approximately 1 cm) and causes less trauma to the surrounding tissue. Modern devices allow surgery through these so-called "key-hole-incisions".

What is a surgical microscope?

A surgical microscope is used in MISS (Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery) and microsurgery. As it allows a magnification in the range from 6x to 40x it goes far beyond the magnification of the medical loupes.

Which kinds of spinal surgeries can be performed utilizing an endoscopic/minimally invasive approach?

As the surgical techniques become more and more sophisticated there is an increasing number of spinal surgeries which can be performed utilizing an endoscopic/minimally invasive approach. Endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery is employed predominantly for the treatment of disc herniations, spinal canal stenosis and also for the stabilization of fractures and degenerative instabilities.

What are the advantages of these techniques?

Minimally invasive surgery has become a standard treatment in spinal surgery. The benefit of the minimally invasive approach includes a smaller incision, reduced pain, early mobilization of the patient which results in a shorter hospital stay. Safe minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery requires high-tech equipment, special implants and, last but not least, a well trained surgeon.

Who will decide which technique is the best for me?

Depending on the diagnostic findings there might be more than one option for the best treatment. Your spine surgeon will explain and discuss options available with you so it is you in the end who decides the technique.

Does the Center for Spinal Surgery and Neurotraumatology perform minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery?

Our specialists have extensive experience in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery on cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine and will be happy to answer all your questions. Please make an appointment to see one of our experts. A modern surgical microscope is also available.

Transforaminal approachFigure 1: Transforaminal approach
Interlaminar approachFigure 2: Interlaminar approach
Transforaminal approachFigure 3: Transforaminal approach

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