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Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Surgery

Since when have minimally invasive stabilization surgeries been performed on the thoracic and the lumbar spine?

Minimally invasive stabilization surgeries of the thoracic and lumbar spine have been performed since the 1990s. Thorascoscopy is the insertion of an endoscope into the chest cavity.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the minimally invasive stabilization surgery?

Thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, i.e. the procedure requires only a few small incisions of approximately 1 cm length whereas thoracotomy, the "open" technique, requires a large incision. The minimally invasive technique reduces postoperative complications, which leads to a shorter hospital stay and an accelerated rehabilitation.

For our patients, there are no disadvantages of the minimally invasive techniques compared to the open technique. The minimally invasive thoracoscopy requires technologically advanced devices and well-trained surgeons. We have performed these kinds of stabilization surgeries for several years.

When is minimally invasive stabilization surgery of the thoracic or lumbar spine the right option?

In case of injuries, scoliosis, infections, disc herniation and thoracic spine tumors stabilization surgery can be performed in a minimally invasive way. The thoracoscopic approach is indicated in case of a surgical treatment between the 4th thoracic and the 2nd lumbar vertebrae. In case of a performed thoracotomy in the past or even abdominal surgeries, thoracoscopy may not be possible. Please ask your personal spinal surgeon if the minimally invasive procedure is the proper option for you.

How is a minimally invasive stabilization of the thoracic and lumbar spine performed?

The surgeon makes three or four small precisely located incisions in the chest wall. An endoscopic camera and specially designed instruments are then inserted and maneuvered during surgery. The equipment provides the surgeon with excellent visualization of the operative site. Minimally invasive procedures are the same as open traditional procedres, the only difference is in the approach and the instruments.

What are the results of minimally invasive stabilization surgeries of the thoracic and lumbar spine?

Long-term results of the endoscopic-stabilization do not differ from the results of the open traditional procedure. But the minimally invasive technique offers the benefits of significantly reduced post-operative complaints, a shorter hospital stay and a faster rehabilitation.

What is the post-operative treatment after an endoscopic stabilization surgery?

The post-operative care depends on the disease (injuries, curvatures, infections, herniated vertebral disk, spinal tumors) that has been treated.

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