Laser Spine Surgery: Fact or Fiction?

Laser Spine Surgery will get you back to playing golf the next day! Or so we are told in splashy magazine ads and videos. We all wish this was true, but conditions and individuals are all unique and few are alike to have this quick a result.

Lasers can be used in surgery, but they are not a healing component of the surgery. And, depending on the type of spine surgery you have, lasers are likely not used at all.

A standard tool used in many procedures is an electrosurgical tool called a “Bovie”, named after it’s inventor. It’s not a laser. This tool uses electric current to electrocoagulate, or cauterize wounds. Unlike a laser, this tool is applied directly to tissue with instant results. So why don’t we hear about the Bovie instrument?

Lasers are Marketing Tools.

The reason you hear about Lasers, and not other tools, is simple: it sounds like science fiction and futuristic tools, which we all assume are better. It’s marketing jargon, not medical.The fact is that the use of lasers in actual surgery is minimal at best, and offer no additional value than the standard instruments used. But don’t take our word for it. Please watch the video on your right and listen as highly respected members of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons discuss the use of lasers and minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally Invasive and MicroNav Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is used when it provides the best outcome for the patient, with the least amount of invasion – cutting or tearing of muscles. We don’t use minimally invasive surgery to “show off” as suggested in the video, we use it when appropriate.

Know Your Options

Minimally invasive surgery gives you a very limited view of your spine. This is why we also use microscopic navigation techniques to allow us the maximum efficiency and patient safety. This combination is your best bet for satisfactory outcomes and minimal recovery time. Give us a call and lets discuss if minimally invasive spine surgery is right for you.