Using a minimally invasive laminectomy, the location of the incision is often established by an intraoperative X-ray, using fluoroscopy. A skin incision about 1 inch in length is made to one side of the middle of the back at the surgical level. Dilators are placed sequentially to split the muscle down to the lamina, the back part of the spine. In contrast to traditional open back surgery that requires a large incision causing more damage to muscles and tissues, minimally invasive spine surgery has become the leading way to treat spine problems. Minimally invasive spine surgery also lessens the hospital stay, (many procedures can be performed as day surgery or 23 hour stay), reduces pain, results in less operative blood loss, allows for faster return to work and activities, and reduces the risk of infection than with traditional open back surgery.
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