A discectomy is at its most basic definition, removal of a vertebral desk. A discectomy may be performed in the lumber, or lower back region, the thoracic, or middle back, and cervical or neck regions of the spine.
One type of discectomy, called open laser-assisted spinal surgery, can be performed on any area of the spine. The discectomy procedure itself defines removal of a vertebral disc and may be used in the:
This type of procedure is very effective for individuals who have tried other options without relief and who experience and suffer from severe pain and difficulty walking, sitting, and other basic movements.
Open microscopic discectomy is one of the most common types of surgical treatment for herniated or ruptured disks in the neck, chest or lower back region. Using imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT (computerized tomography) scans, surgeons are able to access all areas of the spine and determine which type of surgical procedure will result in the most positive prognosis.
First performed in the early 1990s, two basic techniques for laparoscopic discectomy are commonly used:
A percutaneous disectomy (PECD) is generally used to treat bulging discs or ruptured discs that bulge into the spinal canal area. This type of procedure is generally performed through a small tube inserted through a very small incision in the back over the affected area. Tissues from the herniated disc are removed, resulting in more room for nerves and nerve roots. This surgical procedure is not commonly used, as traditional discectomy procedures to date are more effective.
Posterolateral endoscopic thoracic discectomy (PETD) procedures are often performed on herniated thoracic discs. The thoracic spine is the area of the back or torso between the bottom of the neck and the lower back. An endoscopic approach to this procedure provides a minimally invasive approach to relieving pain caused by herniated discs or other abnormalities that create pressure against nerves and nerve root endings in the spinal area.
Individuals with back or neck pain or pain that doesn't respond to conventional medical treatment may benefit from a laparoscopic discectomy. Those diagnosed with herniated discs are also prime candidates for the procedure.
Cost of discectomy procedures depend on location and approach. An individual traveling to Costa Rica may spend approximately $12,000 on a cervical discectomy while a patient traveling to Thailand will spend approximately $8,000. Travelers to Columbia, Poland, and hungry also spend an average of $9,500 for such procedures.
Discectomy procedures are generally performed by an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine care or neurosurgeon as well as a vascular or general surgeon. Surgeons should be chosen according to their expertise and experience in related fields. Physicians and surgeons should be certified in their field, and show membership in national or regional boards or associations in his or her country of origin. Consumers are encouraged to get more than one opinion before engaging in any type of spinal surgery, as well as making sure that facilities, surgeons, and healthcare staff are accredited by international associations and organizations to ensure quality of equipment, technology, as well as quality of care by medical staff.
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