Microdiscectomy and decompression is a type of outpatient minimally-invasive spine surgery that requires specialized instruments, a sophisticated surgical microscope, and microsurgical techniques. The goal of microdiscectomy or microdecompression is to decompress the nerve root(s) and spinal cord, relieve symptoms, and enable one to return to the regular activities of daily living. Dr. Stieber is able to gently spread the muscle surrounding the spine with what is termed “sequential tube dilation”. Using this advanced minimally-invasive technique, he is able to avoid the cutting of muscle that is generally associated with standard spinal surgery. The use of a robotic microscope allows for clear visualization of the spine through an extremely small “Band-Aid” incision, generally just 16-18mm. Performed by Dr. Stieber in New York, microdiscectomy surgeries are among the most common surgeries performed by Dr. Stieber and have saved his patients from permanent weakness, numbness, and pain.
In NYC, microdiscectomy or microdecompression is generally performed by Dr. Stieber under general anesthesia. After cleansing and preparing the back for surgery, the surgical site is localized and guided using a very small incision is made in the skin, approximately the width of a dime. Microsurgical instruments are guided by special intraoperative surgical imaging called fluoroscopy. Following an exact sequence, dilation is performed with special narrow tubes until the spine can be visualized through the microsurgical retractor using the robotic operative microscope. A small bone window is made to allow access to the pinched nerves that are located within the spinal canal. The nerves are carefully moved to the side and shielded using specialized instruments. The disc fragment or piece of the herniated (ruptured) disc is then removed and, once completed, the nerves are examined and gently probed to make sure they are free of any further problems or compression. The wound is then cleansed with an antibiotic solution before removing the retractor. Upon completion of the procedure, the wound is closed with absorbable stitches, and covered with a bandage the size of a large Band-Aid.
Once the surgery is completed, the patient is moved into a recovery area. In recovery, nurses and other members of the medical team closely monitor the patient’s vital signs – blood pressure, respiration, pain, and pulse. It is expected that there will be some minor post-operative incisional discomfort.
Patients usually go home the same day as surgery. Dr. Stieber will discuss the likelihood of hospitalization with patients before their surgery date.
Dr. Stieber provides patients with information on what to expect and self-care after being discharged from the hospital. This will include instructions on how to control pain, medications, diet and managing constipation, bathing and incision care, activity restrictions, and surgical follow-up appointments. Dr. Stieber performs microdiscectomies in New York and the surrounding areas and he and his staff welcome questions and ensure that all patient concerns are thoroughly addressed.