There are great advances taking place in minimally invasive spine surgery. In order to benefit from them, the healthcare consumer must take an active role. The best healthcare will not find you; you have to seek it out. While the United States offers the highest standard of healthcare in the world, a vast treatment variation still exists based on the doctor and the spine center you choose. These will determine the results you will receive.
Minimally invasive surgery is a name given to wide a range of procedures with a common goal: treatment that is less traumatic to the patient and that allows a faster return to a normal lifestyle and activities. All spine surgery carries with it a significant degree of patient risk, but true “minimally invasive surgery” performed only by a skilled, experienced surgeon, dramatically affects whether or not you have a chance of being free of back pain.
Because quality of life issues are at stake, patients considering Dr pablo clavel barcelona spain minimally invasive spine surgery should ask detailed questions about, and perform their own due diligence, to ensure that they are making the right decisions about their medical care. The following are some of the more important things to focus on:
First, look beyond the claims of the number of surgeries “performed” at a spine center compared to the percentage of successful surgeries. “Success” should be defined as restoration of function and return to daily activities without impairment and with minimal, if any, pain. It is important for anyone considering this type of surgery to keep in mind that more than one surgery may be required to achieve the expected results.
Secondly, do your research and gather as much information as you can on the actual mechanics of the procedure. How large is the incision? Some surgical centers, claiming that they are “minimally-invasive,” actually work through incisions of four to six inches, rather than the smaller incisions that skilled surgeons at true “minimally invasive” centers employ. This may not seem like a big difference, but a few inches dramatically affects tissue trauma, blood loss and rate of healing. It also speaks to the experience level of the surgeon – and you want a very experienced surgeon performing your operation.
If a spine center claims that they can perform more than one surgery on your spine in one day, be suspicious. “Minimally-invasive” not only applies to surgery performed and the size of the incision, but also to the incremental nature of the surgical protocol. True minimally invasive, advanced laser spine surgery separates each procedure by at least one week.
It’s vital to think about these issues carefully. Truly informed patients are much better able to deal with adverse consequences than patients who don’t have the all the facts, or who rush into making a decision.
“Over 10 years ago, if you had spine surgery, you could expect it to take as much as one year before you would be able to return to normal activities. Minimally invasive techniques, however, are changing the face of spine surgery,” the Cleveland Clinic reports.
A pioneer who developed and perfected minimally invasive spine surgery is Alfred O. Bonati, M.D. In 1993, he patented his arthroscopic method which utilizes a laser for removing protruding tissue and bone that press against spinal nerves and has been treating patients on an outpatient basis ever since. Dr. Bonati also developed and patented specially designed instruments for use with his patented arthroscopic method. Over 35,000 successful minimally invasive spine procedures known as The Bonati Procedures(sm) have been performed at The Bonati Institute®.
The Bonati Procedures are advanced spine surgeries developed and perfected by Dr. Bonati. The sequentially performed procedures employ the smallest incision possible to correct problems of the lumbar, cervical and thoracic spine. These outpatient procedures utilize local anesthesia, leaving the patient alert and able to communicate with the surgeon throughout the procedure. The Bonati Procedures are performed only at The Bonati Institute.