Is Endoscopic Spine Surgery For You?

The decision of whether or not to have spine surgery can be very stressful especially if you have not been educated about it. You may have heard horror stories about patients and their bad experiences that might be causing you to decide against it, but you should know that there have been many advances in spine surgery that allow patients to get back to the active lifestyles they deserve. If your neck or back pain is hindering you frequently from your daily activities, it’s time to consider endoscopic spine surgery (or laser spine surgery) as a possible option.

Traditionally, spine surgeries were performed with an open-back approach where the surgeon had to make a large incision, cutting open your back muscles, in order to access and work on the injured area. This made it difficult for patients to quickly recover from because of the muscle and soft tissue damage caused by this type of surgery. With spine surgeries having advanced a great deal in recent years, endoscopic spine surgery is a less invasive alternative option that offers a solution to this problem.


The word endoscopy means “looking inside” and refers to a physician’s use of an endoscope- a small, flexible tube with a light- to look inside of your body for medical purposes. Whereas traditional spine surgery requires a surgeon to make a large incision in order to access the spine, endoscopic spine surgery is the newest type of minimally invasive spine surgery that uses advanced surgical tools and powerful magnifying systems to allow the surgeon to access the precise injured area through a small skin incision. Through this small incision, a series of small tubes are inserted and the surgeon is able to look inside of you using the tiny endoscope camera that projects the image on a monitor and micro-instruments are used to perform the surgery.

Recent studies have proved that endoscopic spine surgery is a safe and effective way to treat various spinal conditions like disc herniations, spinal stenosis, failed back surgery syndrome, and a few other neck and back conditions. This makes procedures much less invasive and decreases the risks associated with traditional open back surgery.


In recent years, endoscopic spine surgery has gained great popularity because of its many advantages- some that include the following:

• minimally invasive
• small skin incision
• minimal tissue damage
• minimal to no blood loss
• high efficiency
• low complication rates
• quick recovery
• outpatient procedure
• no hospital stay
• lower cost
• completion in an hour


Although endoscopic spine surgery is a great option for many spinal conditions, it is not for every patient. In order to determine whether or not it is right for you, you must first need to know the exact cause of your pain. This is not something that you can figure out on your own as there may be a number of causes for your pain. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, consult with your doctor to get a physical examination and have imaging tests like MRIs done. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, then you and your doctor will have a better idea of whether endoscopic spine surgery is right for you.

If you are considering endoscopic spine surgery as an option, make sure that you choose an experienced endoscopic spine surgeon to perform the surgery. Choose a surgeon that specializes in this procedure and has had special training and experience performing this procedure. You want a surgeon that has achieved a high success rate with this procedure so don’t be afraid to ask them how many cases of endoscopic surgery he or she has performed and what his or her success rates are.

Here at the Spine Institute in New Jersey, orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Marc Cohen is a leader specializing in minimally invasive, endoscopic and laser spine surgery. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Marc Cohen performs endoscopic spine surgeries on a daily basis and has performed over 1,000 endoscopic spine surgeries consistently delivering excellent results.

If you are experiencing back pain and are considering spine surgery, please contact our office to schedule a consultation at 973-538-4444 or learn more at

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