Laser spine surgery has become a highly successful alternative to traditional open back surgery, providing quick, welcome relief to countless individuals suffering from excruciating and debilitating back and neck pain.
As the name implies, the procedure involves the use of a laser to address damage in the spine and remove disc and bone without injuring surrounding soft tissue. It is performed in conjunction with endoscopy. Endoscopy is a procedure in which a small hollow tube containing working channels and a tiny fiber-optic camera with magnification capability is inserted to access and view the surgery site and perform the procedure. The method dispenses with such staples of conventional spine surgery as screws, plates and rods. It allows the surgeon to get a clear, clean view of the nerves that are causing the pain the patient is experiencing. Nerve monitoring is conducted throughout the operation to ensure safety.
Laser spine surgery is now used to treat a range of spinal conditions, especially those affecting discs for which traditional spine surgery has not proven effective. The amount of conditions that may be causing spinal pain or discomfort can be overwhelming, but generally, one of the most common conditions is herniated disc. A herniated disc typically results from participating in sports, lifting heavy objects, and not taking proper care of the spine.
All laser spine procedures are outpatient and minimally invasive. Patients are awake with IV sedation, allowing for continuous communication with the surgeon to ascertain if the pain has been eliminated. Individuals undergoing laser spine surgery benefit from local anesthesia and a short one-hour operation, as well as same-day discharge, lower cost, reduced risk for complications and infection, fast return to work and daily activities (typically within days), and preservation of spine mobility. Discharge instructions for at-home care are provided and follow-up is scheduled in the physician’s office the next day.
Dr. Cohen is a leader in laser spine surgery, with the extensive experience, practiced precision and surgical decision-making ability required to achieve the best outcomes. He is a top laser spine surgeon in New Jersey and is considered a “superspecialist” in the field, having performed more than 1,000 laser procedures on patients nationwide.