At Laser Spine Institute, we use a surgical procedure called a laminotomy to treat spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal is narrowed to the point where it compresses the spinal cord and nerve roots. This is a natural process of spinal degeneration, which occurs with aging, but can also result from other conditions.
During this minimally invasive spine surgery, the surgeon places the first tube into a small incision. A series of tubes of increasing size are placed over this first tube to slowly create a small opening to the spine. That allows us to perform laminotomies with minimal damage to the surrounding muscles. The muscles are pushed out of the way and are not torn or cut. The last tube is about 18 millimeters in diameter and through this working tube we insert the laser, camera, suction, irrigation and other surgical instruments.
Once everything is in place, the surgeon can begin the procedure. Some patients feel immediate relief during the laminotomy as the nerve(s) are released. By providing decompression, the patient's back and/or leg pain should resolve.
When the procedure is complete, the tube is slowly removed, allowing the muscles to move back into place. A stitch or two is needed to close the incision. After one to two hours of monitoring, the patient (with a Care Partner) is free to go.
We generally encourage patients to take several short walks the afternoon or evening of their laminotomy procedure. Following a day of rest and recovery, the patient then returns for a postoperative visit to get clearance from the physician to return home.
Other procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute include Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization™ Device, anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF), RegenaDISC®, discectomy, lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), cervical disc replacement, foraminotomy, and facet thermal ablation.