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What is an Endoscopic Discectomy?
An endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical solution that involves using video-assisted technology to remove and repair an intervertebral disc. Our intervertebral discs are fundamental components of our spinal anatomy. Without these discs, our vertebrae would painfully scrape against each other as we move about our daily lives. Our discs allow for smooth movements of the spine, and enable bending, walking, turning, and an infinite number of daily activities.
Despite their original purpose, however, these discs do not always function as designed. When the discs in our spine become damaged or worn, it can lead to disc bulging or herniation. Both bulging and herniated discs can cause compression and inflammation of adjacent tissues, especially of the nearby spinal cord and nerves. With compression of these nerves comes a multitude of painful side effects.
These symptoms can often be severe, interfering with everyday life and preventing you from participating in the activities that you once enjoyed. Many will end up missing work or important family events as they struggle to cope with debilitating pain. For these individuals, a minimally invasive endoscopic discectomy may be a pressure-relieving procedure that can improve one’s quality of life.
During a minimally invasive endoscopic discectomy, your surgeon will create a small 1-inch incision in your back, over the location of the problematic disc. The next step of the procedure is critical and distinguishes an endoscopic discectomy from similar but less effective interventions: Your surgeon will insert a metal tube, through which the surgical instruments will be passed. Bypassing muscle, tendons, and ligaments, your surgeon will use a flexible endoscope with a camera attached to the tip to assist in visualizing the damaged disc. Degenerated or ruptured disc material will then be removed through the same tube that the surgeon inserted to access your disc. Utilization of this tube and camera ensures that your procedure is performed with the utmost accuracy, greatly reducing the probability of surgical error.
The use of endoscopic materials requires extensive training and experience. Dr. Frazier of NYC Spine has just this: With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Frazier—Harvard trained orthopedic spine surgeon—has earned his reputation for providing highly accurate and patient-centered care. Call NYC Spine today to set up a consultation with a world-renowned orthopedic spine surgeon.
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What are the Benefits of an Endoscopic Discectomy?
Recent advances in surgical technology have led to revolutions in minimally invasive spine care. Although each patient’s experience with surgery will be individualized, endoscopic discectomy consistently boasts the following advantages:
- Small incisions: A tiny 1 to 3-inch incision is often all that it takes to access a damaged disc. Smaller incision sizes often entail less postoperative pain, less blood loss, and less scarring.
- Less trauma to the body: Any surgery that secures entry to the spine through the back has the potential to disrupt the surrounding muscles. Endoscopic discectomies allow for little to no damage to the surrounding tissues by circumnavigating muscles instead of cutting through them.
- Shorter hospital stays: Minimally invasive procedures are often completed as same day surgeries, allowing many patients to return home on the same day as their procedure.
- Quicker recovery time: With less incisions and less trauma to the body, it also requires less time to heal and get back to your ordinary life.
Endoscopic discectomy is a very specialized technique that takes much training to master. Dr. Frazier at NYC Spine has perfected this technique—as well as a plethora of other interventions—over the course of his 20 year career. Dr. Frazier can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and offer you multiple routes to pain relief. Call NYC Spine today and rediscover relief!
How do I know if I need an Endoscopic Discectomy?
Request a free MRI review & our world-renowned orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Frazier, will evaluate your treatment needs.
Do I Qualify for an Endoscopic Discectomy?
In general, anyone who is suffering from the debilitating symptoms of a bulging or herniated disc may be eligible for a minimally invasive endoscopic discectomy. Radiating pain down the legs or arms; stabbing pain in the lower back, buttocks, or hip; tingling or numbness in the arms or legs—a damaged disc can cause any of these symptoms. Any physician, including those at NYC Spine, will want to make sure that you have exhausted all of your non-surgical treatment options before pursuing surgery. When other treatment methods fail, an endoscopic discectomy may be the right treatment for you.
Although minimally invasive procedures are much safer than traditional techniques, there are still some individuals who may be barred from receiving the benefits of this particular technique. If you have had failed discectomies in the past, if you are allergic to any of the medications or materials necessary for surgery, or if you have other serious health conditions, then you may not be eligible for an endoscopic discectomy.
If you’re wondering if an Endoscopic Discectomy is the right choice for you, please call NYC Spine today. Our team of experts will work tirelessly to troubleshoot your spinal pain and customize your course of treatment. With over 20 years of excellence in Redefining Relief, NYC Spine is here to provide award-winning and compassionate care.
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Dr. Frazier is a Harvard-trained, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon. He’s held an academic appointment at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York’s SUNY Downstate. Dr. Frazier is also a respected lecturer, accomplished researcher, published author on spine disorders and treatment, and a consultant for several international spine companies.
After completing his undergraduate education at Brown University, Dr. Frazier attended Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude. He completed a Harvard internship based at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA, followed by a Harvard combined residency before becoming chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Education & Training
MD / Cum Laude
Harvard Medical School
Mass. General Hospital
Spinal Deformity Fellowship
Doctor’s Hospital (Miami, FL)