Through a tiny incision, the disc matter that has been pressing on a nerve root or spine can be removed.
While X-Ray monitoring helps guide the movement, small surgical instruments are inserted into the center of the herniated disc. Disc tissue is removed by cutting it out, sucking out the center of the disc, or by using lasers to burn or evaporate the disc. The disc material that has herniated is not directly removed in these operations.
Percutaneous Discectomy is an option for patients suffering from low back and leg (radicular) pain due to contained disc herniations who have failed conservative treatments and are interested in trying minimally invasive options prior to having traditional surgery. It can be performed under direct vision in a similar fashion to microdiscectomy or it may be performed entirely under x-ray (fluoroscopy) which reduces the entry site size to that of a standard injection (less than 1/16″ needle prick, about the size of a small freckle). By comparison, standard open discectomy can involve incisions of 1″ and greater.
The procedure is done with local anesthetic at the introduction site. Light conscious sedation may be used, as necessary, to help calm the patient. General anesthesia is not required (contraindicated). The total required procedure time may vary between 15 minutes and 1 hour. Total operation time of the DEKOMPRESSOR® should range from 1 to 10 minutes. There should be no pain generated by the operation of the device. The cannula may be slightly curved to help facilitate access to difficult anatomy including the L5/S1 disc.