What is microdiscectomy?
Before we understand what microdiscectomy is, we need to understand what a herniated disc is. It is a condition in which one of the discs sitting between the vertebrae in the spine (usually the lower back) is damaged. This damage causes the nucleus to escape from the rubbery annulus and puts pressure on the spinal nerves. The condition causes extreme pain and even numbness of the feet.
The process to treat this condition by removal and replacement of the disc is called a microdiscectomy. Gone are the days when a spinal surgery meant large incisions, long recovery periods, and a substantial amount of pain. With the advancement in technology, microdiscectomy which is a minimally invasive procedure is possible.
The process of microdiscectomy
Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, the main aim is to remove the disc with minimal incision and less recovery time. Before the procedure, the patient is administered general anesthesia. This ensures that the patient is unconscious during the entire duration. Once administered, the procedure begins.
- A small incision of approximately 1-1 1/2 inch is made over the affected area of the spine.
- Visuals of the damage are monitored through a lighted microscope.
- In some cases, the bone of the affected area is removed to prevent any damage to the root nerve.
- The damaged herniated tissue is removed with a micro tool, thus removing the pressure off the nerve.
- Once the damaged portion has been removed, the incision is closed with the help of sutures.
- Discharge is allowed the next day.
This process provides relief to the spinal nerve and provides space to the spinal column.
What are the risks involved?
Microdiscectomy rarely has any major risks involved because of the involvement of high-tech equipment. However, like any other surgical procedure, it comes with certain common risks. These include:
- The cerebrospinal liquid leak is a common occurrence and is witnessed in about 6 percent of surgeries.
- Damage to the nerve root is another risk.
- There is always a slight chance of recurrence of the herniated disc.
- Bleeding and infection in the affected area have also been seen in some cases but are not life-threatening.
- A very rare occurrence is improper bowel and bladder movement.
What is the cost of microdiscectomy?
Because of the specialization of the surgery, microdiscectomy cost is higher than other surgical procedures of the back. This is also because of the involvement of highly trained surgeons.
The cost varies from country to country and while it may start at USD 7000 in a country like India, it may go up to USD 50000 in countries like the USA, Singapore, and France.
Some common factors affecting the cost include the cost of living, availability of medical facilities, follow-ups and regular check-ups, location of the hospital, and expertise of the medical professional.
Some popular medical destinations include India, UAE, Turkey, France, the USA, and Israel. So if you are someone who is looking to get a microdiscectomy treatment done, you should consider these countries while making a decision.
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