A lumbar discectomy is a procedure performed by Beaumont spine surgeons that repairs a bulging or herniated (vertebral) disc in your spine. A laminectomy is performed first to gain access to the injured portion of the disc. Then the outer wall and soft center of the injured disc that is bulged or herniated can be removed relieving pressure on affected nerves.
For spine surgeries, patients are given general anesthesia to put them to sleep.
Patients are placed on a special operating room bed that allows for optimal access to the spine and room for the surgeon to work and helps greatly reduce the potential for blood loss.
Your doctor will make a short incision in your back, usually 1.5 inches long, to expose the correct area of the spine. An X-ray is used in the operating room to ensure the correct bone/disc(s) is operated upon. Some spine surgeons may also use a special microscope during surgery to magnify the area they are operating upon.
Your spine surgeon may use small cutting instruments to carefully remove soft tissue near the spinal nerves. Then the surgeon removes a small portion of the lamina bone and/or disc if necessary, takes out any disc fragments and eliminates any nearby bone spurs. Once this is complete, the muscles and soft tissue is put back into place and the skin is closed with sutures, staples, skin glue or steri-strips (small pieces of tape).
This type of spine surgery can last anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how many levels of the spine are injured. Your doctor can give you a more accurate assessment of surgical length.