Thoracic Discectomy

Thoracic Discectomy & Neural Decompression (DND)

Indications: Pain in the back from the top of the shoulders down into the area above the waist. The pain is typically near the middle of the back but can also extend out toward the sides of the torso.

The procedure is effective in treating pain that is caused by injured discs that are evidenced by disc bulges, herniations or protrusions of the thoracic discs.

The pain is called discogenic pain. The Thoracic Discectomy and Neural Decompression Procedure is performed in a surgery center and typically is accomplished over the course of 1 to 2 1/2 hours depending on the anatomy of the patient, the complexity of the pathology and how many discs are problematic.

After being comfortably positioned on the operating table in the face-down position, the patient is given oxygen, connected to appropriate monitors and administered intravenous sedation to induce sleep. If considered necessary for the safety of the individual patient, a breathing tube will be inserted into the trachea after the patient goes to sleep.

A Thulium laser is then used to treat the posterior annulus of each symptomatic herniated disc and potentially some bulging discs. This process can both shrink the disc bulge or herniation as well as relieve the pain caused by the injured disc(s). The procedure places sufficient energy into the annulus to turn off the nociceptors or pain nerves, char the annulus as well as seal the blood vessels extending into the annulus. These vessels bring compounds to the disc that cause further inflammation and pain in the area. Antibiotics are now injected into each disc that has been treated and the instruments are removed.

After the procedure is completed, the patient is awakened and moved to the recovery room until discharged. The average time spent in the recovery room after the procedure is about 1 hour.

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