Mr Khai Lam from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Spinal Unit and London Bridge Hospital explains why minimal access spinal surgery (MASS) is best if you need an operation for what used to be called a ‘slipped disc’, but should more accurately be referred to as ‘herniation’ in the lower spine.
This technique can only be performed by surgeons with particularly advanced levels of skill and has been developed with the aim of reducing ‘collateral damage’ to surrounding tissues whilst obtaining the same clinical outcomes of more traditional open procedures.
The procedure has been developed to complement minimal invasive spinal surgery (MISS) as the latter does not allow the surgeon direct visualisation of the spine. Although these two different methods do not alter the indications or goals of surgery, there are important differences between conventional and the latest surgical methods.
The benefits of MASS include:
Reduced blood loss
Reduced post-operative incision pain
Minimised respiratory difficulties
Early discharge from hospital
Enhanced rehabilitation and early return to activities and work.
These are important implications for you to consider when discussing the options and relative merits of your surgery with your doctor.
More about Mr Khai Lam.
Mr. Lam is active in both clinical and laboratory research into low back pain secondary to lumbar disc degeneration. He is a leader in the field of spinal arthroplasty, minimal invasive spine surgery and belongs to the AO Expert TK Group for atraumatic spinal access surgery.
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