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Nov 18, 2009

Laser assisted spine surgery !


A laser-assisted endoscopic surgery was performed on a woman for a prolapsed disc at the Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH) here recently. A press release from the hospital has said the laser surgery for a spinal disc problem was a rare procedure. It was being done only in two or three centres in the country, it said.

Spine surgeon Sreedharan Namboothiri performed the surgery on Manimegalai (38) of Rasipuram, who was suffering from pain in the back and leg for the past couple of years. When she consulted the local doctors they advised her to undergo spinal surgery but Manimegalai feared post-surgical complications.

But, she was brought to KMCH where a magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large disc prolapse and it was compressing the nerve route.A local anaesthesia was given to the woman and a 0.2 mm incision was made using an endoscope.“We used Holnium Yag laser to remove the disc and the entire procedure lasted only one hour,” Dr. Namboothiri said in the release. The woman got immediate relief from the acute pain that gave her sleepless nights, he said. Manimegalai could not have even dreamt of quick relief, but for such modern treatment procedures, he added.

Such a large disc prolapse could not be treated in the conventional method as it involved making a large incision to remove the disc. This would lead to complications, he said.Laser assisted endoscopic discectomy was a boon to people suffering from this kind of disorders, he claimed.

“Yag laser will help in doing a very high precision surgery, especially working inside a spinal canal with very high anatomical constraint” he pointed out. The laser beams could vaporise even very tough tissues and it helped operate with an accuracy of 0.2mm. The post-operative result was excellent, he said.KMCH Chairman Nalla G Palaniswami said that even though laser had been used in many other areas of the medicine, its introduction in spine surgery had been very late because of the highly complex spine structure.This was a path-breaking spine surgery with a really good social impact because many patients suffering from spinal disorders did not seek treatment fearing complications.

The release quoted Manimegalai as saying that she felt better now and was able to have normal sleep. Before the surgery, she used to take some medicines for temporary relief. But when the pain became unbearable, she was told that surgery was the only way out.

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