Laser Spine Surgery – FAQ

You’re here because you’ve got questions – maybe lots of questions – about laser spine surgery.

Here are answers to some of the more common ones. If you have more, my team and I hope to see you in the office for a free consultation. I’ll be able to answer all of your questions with an added personal touch – applying them directly to your specific condition.

What exactly is laser spine surgery?

Laser spine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that makes use of a laser to remove tissue with heat rather that with traditional instruments. As with other modern minimally invasive procedures, it can result in less scarring.

Are there risks specific to laser spine surgery?

Yes, there are additional risks associated specifically with laser spine surgery – risks that aren’t present in other procedures. The biggest risk is damage to nearby nerves due to the heat of the laser. That heat can transfer to, and damage, nearby nerves during the procedure, which can lead to even bigger problems. Whereas in traditional minimally invasive surgery the nerve is directly seen and protected, in laser surgery the nerve is not seen or protected during the procedure.

Can it effectively treat my condition?

Maybe. Laser spine surgery has been shown to be effective when treating minor conditions of the spine. And, in those cases, I’ll recommend laser spine surgery. But, it’s important to know that it doesn’t work for all spine conditions, especially major spine conditions.

The most important thing you can do is to seek diagnosis from someone who is an expert of the spine, not just an expert of laser spine surgery. That way, you’ll hear all of your options, not only about laser spine surgery. And you’ll understand if laser spine surgery can really help treat your condition.

Is Laser Spine Surgery Performed by Trained Spine Surgeons?

Sadly, not always. Some laser spine surgery groups allow doctors who are not trained in spine surgery to perform laser spine surgery. And it’s legal for them to do just that. The problem with that is, while those doctors understand how to perform the surgery itself, they don’t always understand the condition of your spine, or the spine in general – and if something goes wrong they may not be able to fix it.

Many laser spine surgery centers will perform the procedure if it will really help you or not. If laser spine surgery can’t help your condition, you might feel pain-relief for a couple of days (the placebo affect), not at all, or you might end up with more damage than you started with.

If laser spine surgery can help your condition, it might do just that. But, you should know the risks of damage ahead of time.