Benefits of Discectomy Surgery
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A discectomy is a procedure that removes damaged parts of a disc in the spine. A disc that requires this type of treatment has a soft center that pushes out through the tough outer lining of the spine, which can irritate or press on nerves nearby in the body. In general, discectomy is the preferred procedure for treating pain that travels down the arms and legs from a compressed nerve. If you are experiencing pain that could be resolved with a discectomy, take a look at this guide that describes some of the benefits of a discectomy surgery in Los Angeles. 

What is a Discectomy?

The primary purpose of a discectomy is to relieve the pressure created by a herniated disc pressing on the nerves of the spine. Slipped discs, ruptured discs, and disc prolapse are other names for herniated discs.

Some of the primary reasons that an individual might receive a discectomy include the following rationale:

  • Nerve weakness is severe enough to cause an individual to have trouble standing or walking.
  • Pain travels into the buttocks, legs, arms, or chest.
  • Physical therapy or steroid injections, as well as more conservative traditional treatments, do not relieve pain.

For the right patient, a discectomy has the potential to relieve massive amounts of pain and discomfort.

What Occurs During a Discectomy?

Surgeons usually perform discectomy on patients who are under the influence of general anesthesia. During the procedure, they remove the piece of the herniated disc that’s compressing the surrounding nerves. In some instances, they remove small amounts of spinal bone and ligaments in order to get to the herniated disc.

If it is deemed that the whole disc should be taken out, there is a chance that your surgeon will decide to fill the space with a piece of bone or a synthetic bone substitute. They will fuse the given implant with the natural vertebrae of the spine.

Following a discectomy, there’s a chance that you may get to go home the same day. However, there is an equally strong chance doctors will ask you to wait at the hospital overnight to observe your recovery. You will have to abstain from engaging in any strenuous activity for some time after the surgery and may have to wait up to 2 to 6 weeks to return to work. 

Types of a Discectomy

There are several different types of discectomy. The primary types include the following:

Open/standard discectomy

During this type of discectomy, a surgeon makes a large skin incision and moves your back muscles apart, which allows them to directly view the area and operate on the disc.

ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion)

This type of surgery is explicitly intended for the neck, also known as the cervical spine. The surgeon approaches the damaged disc from the front of the neck and then follows this procedure with a spinal fusion.

Minimally invasive surgery discectomy

In this surgery, the surgeon makes a small skin incision and uses progressively larger tubes to move through the muscles. The physician uses special tools to allow them to operate in much smaller surgical spaces.

Depending on the exact specifics of your situation, your surgeon may remove just part of your herniated disc, or they might take all of it. You and your doctor will determine this during consultation prior to any surgical work.

Risks of a Discectomy

Discectomy does come with some risks. Many of the possible risks are standard for most types of surgery. They include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Leaking spinal fluid
  • Injuries that occur to the blood vessels or nerves in the spines

There are certain preparations that you may need to undergo to prepare for a discectomy. Standard preparation includes modifying your intake of certain medications, avoiding eating and drinking for a specified time, and modifying your exercise regime. In addition, your physician should be able to inform you whether or not you carry risk in terms of how the procedure might impact your health. 

LA’s Best Neurosurgeon

Dr. Yashar is considered the best resource for discectomy in Los Angeles. If you are interested in discussing with Dr. Yashar whether you would benefit from this type of procedure, contact our office to set up a consultation with our board-certified neurosurgeon.