What to expect
The keyhole spinal surgery is no different to any open spinal surgery and patients must undergo investigations based on their clinical presentation. Pre procedure consultation and consenting process would give ample opportunity to discuss the procedure and how to make yourself best for the surgery. Once an operative plan has been discussed, pre-assessment checks are made towards the fitness for surgery. The importance of early mobilisation cannot be overemphasised, and patients are encouraged to walk within an hour or two of the surgery
Fully endoscopic spinal surgery is carried out under direct vision on a high-resolution TV monitor for the best quality image. The procedure is carried out via less than 1 cm stab incision in a minimally invasive approach.
Hi-tech optical system with specialised camera is introduced to visualise the spinal canal and its contents (Motorway!) Operation is carried out thought the same channel using cutting edge instruments.
Tissues and muscles are not striped during the approach thus making it a tissue sparing procedure with minimal blood loss. If bony resection is need, it is carried out by specialised drill/burr including diamond tip burrs.
Once satisfactory surgical goal is achieved the endoscope or camera is removed and the wound is closed with a single stitch. The wound is covered with a small dressing before transferring to the recovery and later to the ward.
Patients are encouraged to mobilise early and assisted with achieving independent selfcare as soon as possible. This not only reduces the risk of developing clots in your legs, but it also helps in prevention of other post-operative morbidities. Endoscopic spinal surgery even though keyhole, it should not be considered any less of a procedure when compared to traditional spinal surgery. Precautions explained during consultation should be followed and the physiotherapist will help you towards gradual return to normal physical activity.