Laser Disc Surgery

The UK Spine Centre specialises in laser disc surgery and we have great experience and success in performing this treatment.

This is a novel percutaneous technique for managing a disc herniation. We use the most advanced laser technology available and perform this treatment regularly both in the lower back and neck.

Laser disc surgery is rarely performed elsewhere.

Uses

We use this technique selectively to treat a painful bulging or herniated disc in the neck or lower back.

Procedure

Laser disc surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation avoiding the need for a general anaesthetic.

This is a percutaneous technique so no skin incision is required. The laser is thin and flexible and is introduced down a needle into the disc space.

We use continuous imaging in theatre to guide the laser tip into the optimal position within the disc.

Laser energy is then delivered from the tip, vaporising and shrinking the displaced disc.

The procedure takes less than one hour.

No stitches are required, just a small plaster.

Benefits

Laser disc surgery has about a 60% chance of being successful. That is to say 6 out of 10 patients are completely better with 3-4 continuing to have some symptoms.

If laser discectomy does not resolve the problem then we can go on to perform a microdiscectomy.

The main advantages of laser disc surgery are that the procedure avoids some of the risks of open surgery and recovery can be faster.

Risks

Laser disc surgery has a very low risk of complications but these include nerve injury, spinal fluid leak, infection, bruising, ongoing or worse symptoms.

Recovery

Patients at The UK Spine Centre are up and about and able to go home within a few hours of the procedure.

Simple painkillers may be helpful in the first week or so which we will provide.

Patients benefit from taking regular short walks which can be extended quickly.

We encourage early back rehabilitation, with physical therapy and an exercise regime commencing 1-2 weeks post procedure.

Most patients return to work within a few weeks or when they feel ready.

We see patients back in clinic six weeks following the procedure.

Our team will support you before and after surgery and your specialist remains available to you at any time.

Further Reading

Please see our Patient Stories which describe real patients, their problems, diagnosis and successful treatment under our care at The UK Spine Centre.

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