Laser spinal surgery is often used for conditions such as spinal arthritis, bone spurs, herniated discs and some spinal injuries. If your doctor is discussing the potential for laser spinal surgery for your condition, it is essential that you understand exactly what is ahead. Unless you've had exposure to this type of procedure before, you may not know a whole lot about what is to be expected. To make matters worse, there are many myths surrounding spinal surgery. Understanding exactly what those myths are may help you make a more educated treatment decision. Here's a look at a few common misconceptions about laser spinal surgery that you should know.
Myth: Laser Surgery Can Fix Anything
Laser surgery is a highly effective treatment option for many conditions, but that doesn't mean that it can cure everything. Some patients, such as the elderly and those at increased risk of infections, may not be good candidates for this type of surgery. Your doctor will talk with you about your risk factors and help you determine if laser spinal surgery is the most effective option for you. Luckily, with the new developments in minimally invasive laser surgery, more people are eligible for this type of care every day.
Myth: You Don't Have to Do Anything Before Surgery
Before your spinal surgery, you're going to want to avoid specific medications. For example, your doctor may recommend that you skip anti-inflammatory medications for a couple weeks before surgery. You should also avoid taking blood thinners in the days leading up to your surgery.
Your doctor will tell you specifically when to stop taking these medications, and it is important that you do so according to his or her instructions. You'll also need to make sure that you have someone available to drive you to your surgery. Bring several days of clothing and other needs so that you have enough supplies for your stay after treatment.
Myth: The Recovery is Just as Long as Open Surgery
One of the benefits of laser surgery advancement is that it isn't as invasive as traditional open surgery. This often means that the smaller incisions and conscious sedation allow for faster recovery than you'd face with more extensive surgical procedures.
Myth: Laser Spinal Fusion Has No Complications
Most patients succeed with laser spinal surgery with minimal complications, but it is important to understand that this procedure isn't always complication-free. Depending on your medical history, the extent of any nerve damage and any other surgeries you've had, you might have more potential for complications than others. If you are at greater risk of complication, your doctor will discuss these things with you before the procedure.
Laser spinal surgery is an increasingly popular spinal surgery treatment, but it isn't without its misconceptions. With the information here, you can consider this treatment option with a thorough understanding of the truth behind several of these myths. For more information, contact centers like Highlands Neurosurgery, P.C.