Even though there’s evidence that crude skull surgery dates as far back as 6,500 BC, the surgical procedures that we’d recognize as somewhat similar to today’s methods have only been prevalent since the late 19th century. Before the advent of modern surgery, if you got an infection such as appendicitis, the likely outcome was death.
Fast forward to today, and surgical techniques have advanced at great speed, and one of the most important developments of the last 30 years has been minimally invasive surgery. Compared to traditional open surgery, this type of procedure requires fewer and smaller incisions, and the surgeon is aided by state-of-the-art technology.
Accomplished spinal surgeon Dr. Benjamin Cohen has gained valuable expertise in performing minimally invasive surgery in his years of practice. He can complete many procedures that address conditions like degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis by employing this innovative surgical approach.
How is minimally invasive surgery different from traditional surgery?
The degree of surgical intervention is quite different when you compare minimally invasive surgery to traditional open surgery. In the latter procedure, your surgeon makes a single, sizable cut in order to gain access to the part of your body they’re operating on, while the former requires several cuts, but they’re very small.
This means that Dr. Cohen can perform the surgery without the need to traumatize a lot of your skin and underlying muscle. What’s more, minimally invasive surgery is often done with the assistance of small surgical tools that he puts through narrow tubes, which slip easily into the minute incisions he’s made.
When Dr. Cohen performs a minimally invasive procedure, he uses either a microscope specifically designed for surgery or an endoscope — a thin tube equipped with a tiny light that, once inserted into the surgical opening, enables him to see a magnified version of the location he’s operating on.
Minimally invasive surgery results in the least trauma to your muscles and body possible.
The many advantages of minimally invasive surgery
The development of minimally invasive surgery gave surgeons the ability to be more precise as they performed procedures, but the many benefits to patients are most impressive:
- No need for Dr. Cohen to gain access to your spine through a large opening
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Speedier recovery
- Reduced post-surgical infection risk
- Less scarring due to tiny incisions
- Reduced pain during recovery as compared to open surgery
And since we all know that recovery is more comfortable at home, minimally invasive surgery allows you to return home earlier, too. Typically, you return home from a procedure on the same day or within just 1-2 days, and you can go back to your normal activities sooner as well. With traditional surgery, you’re hospitalized for 3-5 days at minimum.
Minimally invasive surgery is often done using robotic tools, with Dr. Cohen standing at a console remotely controlling the tools he uses during surgery. His surgical movements can be highly precise this way, and he views a magnified image of your surgery site on a large screen.
Though some surgeries that Dr. Cohen does still require him to perform an open procedure, many others allow for the minimally invasive option, including herniated disc removal (lumbar discectomy), spinal fusion, and the spinal decompression procedure, laminectomy.
He also performs revision spine surgery — a corrective procedure following a previous spine surgery after which persistent problems remain — using minimally invasive techniques.
To get an idea of the steps that a minimally invasive procedure involves, view this informative video.
Whatever spinal condition you have, it makes sense to consult with Dr. Cohen about whether you’re a candidate for a minimally invasive surgical solution. Call our office today to arrange an in-office appointment or a telemedicine visit. You can also contact us through our website.