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Microdiscectomy and Microdecompression

What is Microdiscectomy and Microdecompression

Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is an outpatient and minimally-invasive spine surgery used to decompress the nerve roots and spinal cord, relieving the symptoms of herniated or degenerated discs. Dr. Brian McHugh is an exceptional board-certified neurological surgeon specializing in the latest minimally-invasive spine surgeries, including microdecompression, endoscopic spine surgery, etc.

The microdiscectomy/ microdecompression procedure involves using sophisticated, cutting-edge surgical microscopes, advanced instruments, and specialized techniques to spread the muscle surrounding the spine to operate on the affected discs without cutting the muscles, as is generally necessary during traditional spine surgeries. During the procedure, a robotic microscope visualizes the spine through a small “band-aid” incision measuring 16 to 18mm.

Dr. McHugh is an expert in the latest minimally-invasive spine surgeries, including robotic spine surgery, ensuring smooth and optimal recovery with a negligible risk of complications. However, he only recommends microdecompression as a last resort if non-invasive treatments (medications, epidural injections, physical therapy, etc.) fail to produce the desired results. You can rest assured that Dr. McHugh will exhaust all non-surgical options before considering microdecompression.

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Who needs microdiscectomy/ microdecompression?

Microdiscectomy/ microdecompression is a suitable treatment for patients suffering from degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, or spinal stenosis, i.e., spinal disorders that lead to the compression or “pinching” of the spinal nerve roots and spinal cord. Compression of the spinal nerves and canal may lead to back or neck pain that radiates to the extremities, including the lower body (lumbar pain) or the upper back, shoulders, and arms (cervical pain).

Microdiscectomy/ microdecompression decompresses the nerve roots and spinal canal, relieving the symptoms. However, it should only be tried as a last resort if non-invasive treatments aren’t successful. Dr. Brian McHugh may recommend the procedure in the following situations:

  • You have already gone through several weeks of medications and physical therapy.
  • The non-invasive treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms.
  • The neurologic symptoms continue to worsen.
  • You’re suffering from numbness, muscle weakness, or loss of function.

What happens during microdiscectomy/ microdecompression?

Dr. Brian McHugh performs microdiscectomy/ microdecompression under general anesthesia. After your back is cleansed and prepared for the surgery, Dr. McHugh creates a tiny micro-incision on the skin’s surface to insert the necessary micro-surgical instruments under fluoroscopic guidance.

Dr. McHugh performs sequential tube dilation to spread the muscles and visualize the spine via a narrow tube. He creates a small window in the bone to access the pinched nerves within the spinal canal, following which he moves the nerves aside with specialized microsurgical instruments.

The damaged or herniated disc fragments are removed, the surrounding nerves are examined to ensure they’re free from compression, and the wound is washed with antibiotics. After the procedure, the incisions are sutured, and a bandage is placed over the incision mark.

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“Getting an appointment was quick and easy. The ladies I spoke with were all very professional, friendly, and helpful, whether it was a phone call or in-person visits. Being able to complete paperwork online before going to the office was convenient as well. Dr. McHugh was very professional and gave a clear and honest opinion and plan moving forward.”

What are the benefits of microdiscectomy/ microdecompression?

  • Tiny “band-aid” incisions.
  • Minimal tissue disruption.
  • Minimal loss of blood.
  • Minimal postoperative pain and discomfort.
  • Faster recovery than traditional surgeries.
woman with back pain

What happens after microdiscectomy/ microdecompression?

After the minimally-invasive spine surgery, you’ll be taken to the recovery area, where nurses will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and other vital signs. The nurses will also provide postoperative medications, either orally or through an IV line, to ensure you don’t experience pain or discomfort. Most patients can return home a few hours after the surgery.

Before your hospital discharge, Dr. McHugh will provide a detailed overview of post-operative recovery guidelines. He’ll provide information on controlling pain, medications, activity limitations, bathing, incision care, and follow-up appointments. If you have any concerns or questions, please discuss them with Dr. McHugh or his incredible team. If you follow all his guidelines, you can be assured of swift recovery.

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