Advanced Surgical Techniques
Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery or MISS is a new surgical technique used to treat spinal disorders in both the neck, and lower back. This technique is based on the idea of performing spinal surgery through a smaller and more precise incision that allows the patient to have a faster recovery and a better surgical experience.
The MISS technological advances have not only given spine surgeons a new way to perform spinal surgery, but they’ve also enabled the surgery to be performed in an outpatient setting. The combination of MISS in an outpatient setting is called Outpatient Spine Surgery or OPSS. These two advances have revolutionized spine surgery. Patients can now have their surgery performed in a comfortable atmosphere, and many patients can return home the day of surgery instead of having the two- to three-day hospital stay for a traditional spinal surgery.
MISS is a viable alternative to traditional open surgical procedures in selected patients. MISS is performed to treat varied spinal disorders, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated disc both lumbar and cervical and spinal stenosis. Some patients might not be a candidate for MISS because of certain medical conditions or the extensive nature of their disorder. In these patients, traditional open surgery is recommended.
Although the goal of a MISS is to minimize the size of the incision and the exposure of the spine, MISS is still able to perform the same surgery as an open surgery. The development of MISS was made possible by the use of specialized instrumentation such as the microscope, as well as smaller and enhanced equipment with advanced imaging. These tools allow the surgeon to avoid disrupting soft tissues, such as muscles, in the spine, resulting in less post-surgery pain and faster recovery. These procedures are typically safer, quicker, and promote a more efficient recovery than traditional spine surgery.
The many benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Smaller incision(s)
- Less blood loss
- Lower muscle and soft tissue damage
- Lower risk of infection
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Reduced pain medication use
- Faster recovery
- An outpatient setting for surgery
While MISS often focuses on the size of the incision, it’s really a larger concept of being minimally traumatic to the body. As such, there is a pre-surgical protocol that begins the night before surgery and continues through surgery. This protocol includes specialized medications and anesthesia to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with MISS.
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Years of Practice
Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Spine Surgeon
Dwight S. Tyndall, MD, FAAOS
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