Spine surgery: Minimally invasive procedures revolutionising treatment outcomes
Dr Ayush Sharma
With the transformation and development India has seen in the fields of medical science, technology, economy and others, India is already in the making of one of the major superpowers of the world. Neuroscience has seen such a vast progress and expansion in the last few years and the kind of treatment and technology is at par with any other country in the world. All the aspects in the department, be it neurology, neurosurgery or neuro-intervention, are on the rise and the treatment has become risk-free.
India has been a pioneer in generating master neurosurgeons since ages and with the advent of latest techniques and robotic surgery, India is now one of the leading sectors in medical field. Today, many major cities in India have fully equipped neurosurgical centres capable of performing high-end complex procedures.
Similar to other medical fields, neurosurgery is also moving towards sub-specialization and various branches have mushroomed over the years which deal with a specific area like Skull Base, Functional and Stereotactic, Neuro-oncology, Spine, Vascular and Neuro interventional, Paediatric, Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Neurotrauma and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery.
The minimally invasive approach
With the rapidly growing advancements in the field of neurosciences, minimally invasive surgeries have completely changed the treatment modalities even for the most complex spinal complications.
While many patients fear the complications of open and traditional surgeries, but with recent advancements, spinal surgeries have become minimally invasive and 100% safe with minimal blood loss and quicker recovery. Keyhole surgeries include ‘Micro-endoscopic decompression’ surgery wherein an incision is made around 1.5 cm to 2 cm without damaging the adjacent soft tissues. While the cosmetic appeal is one of the major advantages, there is no trauma to the bone or muscles, keeping the contours well intact and the patient recovery time are also minimal in comparison to an open surgery.
Another path-breaking technique – spinal fusion surgery (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)) with the usage of spinal navigation technique allows the surgeons to make use of image guidance in real time to precisely locate the operation site. This type of surgery is highly beneficial to minimize the pain and nerve irritation and patients suffering from spondylitis, Disc Herniation, or PIVD (prolapsed disc) can be highly benefitted. As the procedure involves preventive and safe measures, it is one of the safe and sound surgeries for people with variety of spinal ailments irrespective of the age bracket. The materials used along with the screws are flexible and does not cause rigidity of the spine with time thereby maintaining its mobility.
Due to the technological advancements in the field of Neuro Surgery, the quality of life post spinal surgery has significantly improved. Therefore, in planned Brain and Spine surgeries, with the help of a comprehensive team, precise outcomes can be expected rather than on leaving the outcomes on chances.
Until a few years ago, one had to travel overseas for the best medical treatment. However, the scene has completely reversed now and we have International Medical Tourism at its highest with patients from other countries visiting India for better healthcare facilities. Indian healthcare has not only made its mark because of reduced costs but also because of the highest quality of neurosurgeons and allied support specialists including neuronursing, neuroanaesthetists and neurophysiotherapists.
(The author is Founder and Director, Laser Spine Clinic)