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Endoscopic Discectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Going for a consult about a possible endoscopic discectomy. I understand it is very new. Anyone have experience with this?



  • Hi
    the procedure has been around for a long time, just that it had not been widely publicized.

    There are different versions of it.

    Most surgeons will make a "window" in the lamina to access the disc. This gives them the ability to see the disc under direct vision. Since they can directly see the herniated nucleus material, they snip it off or pull it out. you can see this surgery on youtube. Type in microdiscectomy in the search field over there.
    The downside of that is that they did cut a window in the bone and some ligaments. That's not so great.

    There is a technique where a surgeon doesn't cut the window and the ligaments. That's good. They can go in thru the foramens. The downside is that they cannot directly see the herniated nucleus material. CT scan images and flouroscopy are utilized during the procedure to "map" where they are going. They remove nucleus material to make room. Basically a decompression.

    They can be done under light sedation or general.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hi ,

    Went to see pain management surgeon today. Going to schedule a laser hardening of my two bad discs. See how it goes for a month and then probably get the endoscopic discectomy. I can't believe how much time is cut off the recovery. With my laminectomy I was off for six weeks. This time it should be a couple days with the lazer and a week with the endoscopic. Any of you had these procedures done?

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  • Sounds wonderful. Hope things work out well for you.

  • I am in the St. Louis area, but I would be willing to fly somewhere for a less invasive procedure with less down time.
  • I had both done last Dec 07. Mine was done under live xray and I am sure that yours will be too. My doc was #7 in this country to perform laser surgery and it has not been around too long. I have never heard of what Paul speaks of although that does not mean that it does not exist but is probably a very old way of doing things. I had a keyhole incision made in my back and tiny little instruments were used under a live xray machine. Don't bet on the recovery being 1 week for the endo microD. For some people this is true but for others it is not. Feel free to PM me with any questions that you may have.
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  • Hey, I will let you know how my laser procedure goes next week. I am expecting to get the endo in late November...early December ...I am concerned about what Pain in the Back says that it will take more than a week of recover..and ruining my holidays!

  • So I had the endoscopic disectomy and was up moving the same day. I am currently having leg pains still everyday and the Dr. says we won't know until about five weeks if I will need the other surgery. Very uneventful. So not much to tell you. Took about 1.15 hours and was able to go back to work after one day with 1 hour commute.

    Not bad!

  • I would like to hear more about the procedure. How are you feeling? On an earlier post I think you said you were going to have it in Nov. or Dec. What made you change your timeline? I also am not familiar with the laser surgery you mentioned to harden the disks. Is that pretty common, too? Do you have to be put under for it? Were you put under for the disectomy? What restrictions did your NS give you? Please keep us updated on your recovery.


  • Well, the procedure I ended up getting was an endoscopic disectomy which basically is trying to put the herniated material back in the disc and gelifying my discs. Dr. said he was actually making my disc about 10 years older..just great. I got there at 8 and was in surgery by 9:15...was put out and then woken up so he could ask me questions during the procedure..then put me out again. The whole thing was about and hour. I left the surgery center at noon. I was walking around that day. I stayed home icing my back for two days because my commute is so long but could of went back to work. I am having tingling and aches in my left leg (which was the leg that always was giving me trouble) but that is about it. He said the 3rd day would be worst but it was not bad at all. I think all the icing helped because when I went back to work my back did get a bit achy. Unfortunately..I am still on meds. I will see Dr in about a week and see where we are going from here. He says it takes about six weeks to figure out if the procedure worked and then I may have to get another surgery where they actually shave off disc material in early December. Let's see!

  • Thanks for the info! They woke you up DURING the procedure to ask you questions? That must have been really weird. What did they ask you that was so important it couldn't wait?

    I am praying the procedure works for you! It sounds easier than a microdisectomy. Here are some more questions, if you don't mind:

    What about restrictions? Can you bend?
    You mentioned meds you are still on; what are you taking?
    What did you mean by the laser surgery in an earlier message? Were you referring to a later disectomy if needed?

    This all sounds really interesting to me. Since you had it prior to surgery, I am guessing the residual tingling in your leg would be there, too, if you had the microdisectomy. (I'm still waiting for my numbness to completely go away in my right foot). I wish you all the best!

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