Open back surgery can be avoided altogether when accessing the spine through the stomach. With this procedure, the disk is removed and replaced with artificial disks made of two titanium implants and a mobile core that allows the patient to keep moving at that level.
Approaching the spine through the stomach is a unique way of fixing the spine. Avoiding a back incision through surgery allows for much faster muscle tissue recovery time and no scar tissue in the muscles. We avoid the bowel completely, but there are some important blood vessels in the area that need to be negotiated very carefully. My team and I review imaging thoroughly to ensure that we are being absolutely as safe as possible.
Minimally invasive surgery has many facets to it. The size of the incision is one aspect of this surgery, along with whether the procedure is taking away motion or adding motion. It also reduces the risk of having another surgery in the future, which will almost inevitably happen if a patient has fusion surgery as opposed to minimally invasive disk replacement surgery.