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What Exactly is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

For many patients considering spinal surgery, the fear of a large incision, hospital stays and a long recovery period was enough to scare them away from surgery. However, with incredible advancements in spine surgical technologies, Dr. Anthony Virella is able to perform spine surgical procedures using an incision of only an inch or less and with many patients returning home the same day.

With this revolutionary technique, a small incision is made at the surgical point, allowing the surgeon to access the affected area of the spine. From here, using the latest advances in fluoroscopic technologies, a series of cameras are utilized to pinpoint the exact location of the affected discs or nerves. After the areas are identified, the surgeon slips the necessary instruments between muscles and under bone and vertebral structures. This approach minimizes blood loss and the collateral damage to muscles, nerves and bones that is common in more traditional surgeries. The entire surgery can be carried out through this tiny incision with no need for unnecessary exploration or cutting.
In a more traditional spine surgery, an incision is made in the patient’s back that usually runs the length of the entire spine. To gain access to the spinal column or vertebral bodies it is a common practice to saw through bone, burn muscle fibers and cut through the surrounding muscles. This exponentially increases the recovery time for patients because now, not only does the spine have to heal, but the bones, nerves and muscles must heal as well.   Furthermore, there is a mass amount of scarring to the surgical area. Some patients had scars several inches long or the entire length of the back.

With the Minimally Invasive Approach, all skeletal layers remain intact and there is no sawing, burning or cutting. This shortens the recovery period exponentially and the only necessary healing is a result of the procedure itself.  Also, scarring is minimal due to the smaller incision that is made only at the surgical point.dr. virella 4

Dr. Anthony Virella is a Board-Certified, Fellowship trained Neurological Spine Surgeon with advanced training in the management of complex spinal disorders. Dr. Virella is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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