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The Surgery

The procedure is carried out with the patient on their side under heavy sedation but without a full general anaesthetic. The procedure is very well tolerated and the fact it does not require a general anaesthetic makes it safer for both the nerve root and the patient.

The endoscopic tube is guided into the spinal canal through a natural opening in the side of the spinal canal, the foramen, below the exiting nerve root. This gives direct access to the prolapsed disc and the nerves it is compressing.

The patient is lying on their side during the operation with the bad leg uppermost. The anaesthetist is with them throughout. Their job is to keep enough pain relief and sedation going to ensure the patient is comfortable. With today’s drugs that is very straight forward.

A small incision is made for the endoscope and this is guided by X-ray screening into the opening. Once in position, the disc fragments are removed. Your nerves are monitored all the time to ensure they are not injured.

After that, the job is done. A single stitch is put in the skin and you return to your room. You may get up that day. Home time is usually the next day. 

Please click here for further details regarding endoscopic discectomy and endoscopic foraminotomy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

The equipment

Most endoscopic equipment looks more complicated than it is. A fibre optic cable takes light to the probe and returns images to the camera. The surgeon operates looking between the screens on the camera stack and the X-ray machine.

The system employed at the London Endoscopic Spine Surgery is the TESSYS system made by Joimax. We believe this to be by far the most advanced spinal endoscopic system available. The equipment is of course still hugely expensive though we believe the investment made by our supporting hospital, The Princess Grace Hospital, will see our patients benefit immensely. Less operating time, tissue damage, recovery time and less time in hospital, off work, in physiotherapy and in pain.

Please click here to look at the equipment involved.