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Anyone have minimally-invasive TLIF?

anjuanaanjuan Posts: 236
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I just scheduled a two level (L4-S1) minimally invasive TLIF surgery for December 3. (I am not doing it earlier because we have had a trip to Disney planned for over a year during Thanksgiving week.)

I am interested in hearing about anyone's experience with having this procedure done, especially with the minimally invasive technique. The neurosurgeon said that I would only be in the hospital for two nights, there would be less blood loss, no cutting of muscles and the surgery would be about 3 hours. He has done the surgery 100s of times. This is compared to another surgeon I saw who wanted to do a PLIF with a 5 hr surgery, 4-5 night hospital stay, and cutting of muscles.

I am very excited about the minimally invasive approach. The articles that I have read about it sound promissing. So, I would like to see if anyone else has had this and if there are any down sides to the procedure?



  • I personally have no idea. I wish I did.
    I had a 2 level PLIF revision and it only took 2 hrs with a 2 night hospital stay.
    1st , 1 level PLIF was 1 1/2 hours same thing except 3 night hospy stay do to me being so whiney and on such a high dose of IV meds. 6inch scar.
    No blood lose and no cutting of the muscle. My drs technique anyway. Yes I have a 8 inch scar in my back(2nd surgery) but they also used glue and steri strips , no staples or stitches for either surgery.
    Now you will find every drs opinion is different. There is surgeries on here that have gone from 1 1/2 hrs to 9 hrs plus. For the same exact surgery. Depends on the Dr.
    I imagine someone will come along soon and explain their experience and recovery..

    Hang in there!!
    Have a great trip to disney!!
    Good luck with surgery!!!
    Terri O:) >:D<
  • hi anjuan, i have posted this before a few times but i can't remember if you were one of the folks i did it for.
    so anyway, here is a link to a terrific minimally invasive tlif video, very informative. :) cali-sue

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  • The TLIF seemed to be worse for me for some reason. The PLIF was more of a nuisance that pain; although, with the PLIF i had a nasty reaction to the anesthetic(vomitting), but that was because i was under for like 6 hrs. For the TLIF, i was in the hospital for 5 days, had 21 staples, and it took me about 12 weeks to get back on my feet. For the PLIF, i was in the hospital for 2 days, no staples and inverted stitches so no pulling out stitches, and it took me only 6 weeks to get myself back some what. I guess it does matter to the person, surgeon, and the condition that you are in prior to surgery.All i can say is, talk to your doc, count your options, and make the best decision. I had to have the PLIF because the TLIF failed, and everything from L3-S2 became unstable; now, im not saying that is going to happen to everyone, but it is a risk for any back surgery. God bless and keep in touch
  • I could not have the min. invasive kind because my case was "too complicated"-I wish I could have!! I have a cousin who DID have the min. invasive kind and his recovery has gone well! I know that he had to take pain meds and was in the hospital for 2-3 days. Surgery was around 4 hours-vs mine, which was 9 hours and I was in the hospital for 4 days. He has a couple small incisions-I have a 9" incision and had 40 staples. If you can do it the less invasive way....do it! Good luck!
  • I had the TLIF on June 18, and was home on Friday the 20th. Was suppose to go home on Thursday, but n/s got stuck in surgery late. I was up and walking the next day, showering on Friday, n/s used this heavy duty plastic bandage that only comes off with daily showering. I had the dissovlable stitches inside, glue on outside. I did have some trouble with the stitches, my body didn't like the knots on the end. I was up and moving everyday after going home. The ride home was great. I was given two 5mg lortabs and sent home. The drive was over 2 hours, but was much better then the drive to hospital. Just to let you know, I was on Opana 15mg, twice daily, with reg Opana 5mg for breakthrough. I have been taking on the Lortab and Robaxin since leaving hospital. The first 2 weeks were little tough, but got easier every day. My scars are small, 1 on each side of the L5S1 area, about 2.5 inches long.
    Let me know if you need anything else.

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  • Thanks for the info txtornedo13. Hi again Anjuan! Had a bad weekend pain wise. The rest of my family were gone for the weekend and I was home by myself, thought it would help with relaxing and dealing with the pain....didn't help much.
  • I want to thank everyone for their comments. I really appreciate them. I am happy that I have found a surgeon that will do the minimaly invasive procedure and has a lot of experience doing it.

    Sparky, I am sorry to hear that you had a bad weekend pain wise. I was doing ok, but then I sucked it up to go to a pumpkin patch/apple orchard yesterday. I managed with the instant heating pads and meds. Today I have been paying for it and am in pain tonight. The good thing is that I was off for the holiday so I didn't have to work and could take it easy. I hope your week is better.
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