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Minimally Invasive Procedures Changing Spinal Surgery

Less invasive procedures decrease complications, have good outcomes

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive surgery of the spine is an emerging neurosurgical field with multifaceted uses, according to a report in the August issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

Patrick C. Hsieh, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues review the techniques of and rationale for using minimally invasive surgery in complex spinal disease and provide illustrative cases in their review, in addition to current and future implications for minimally invasive surgery.

In the area of spinal trauma, the authors note that minimally invasive surgery, compared to open procedures, is associated with less blood loss, lower infection rates, fewer transfusions and a smaller number of cardiopulmonary complications. In the area of spinal deformity, minimally invasive surgery techniques allow surgeons to achieve similar results as open procedures through smaller incisions and less disruption of normal tissue. Finally, minimally invasive oncology surgeries may improve outcomes through decreased wound complications by limiting damage to surrounding soft tissues during procedures, the report indicates. Similarly, minimally invasive surgery techniques may also be used in oncological treatments through more focal delivery of radiotherapy.

"Currently, advancements in surgical technology and techniques as well as early clinical results have driven surgeons to expand the use of minimally invasive surgery in the spine," the authors write. "Nevertheless, prospective and long-term clinical studies are needed to demonstrate the true clinical benefits."

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