This is a novel technique for treating a disc herniation. The London Spine Unit has the most advanced laser technology available and we have great experience performing this treatment which you will rarely find elsewhere.
We use this technique selectively to treat a bulging or herniated disc.
We can perform laser treatment under local anaesthetic and sedation avoiding the need for a general anaesthetic.
This is a percutaneous technique so no incision is required. The laser is thin and flexible and is introduced down a needle into the disc space.
We use continuous imaging in theatre to guide the laser tip to the optimal position within the disc.
Laser energy is then delivered by the tip, vaporising and shrinking the displaced disc.
The procedure takes less than one hour.
No stitches are required, just a small plaster.
Laser discectomy has about a 60% chance of being successful. About 3-4 out of 10 patients will continue to have symptoms.
If you are not better then we can routinely go on and perform microdiscectomy.
The big advantage is that the procedure avoids some of the risks of open surgery and recovery is quicker for most.
Laser disc surgery has a very low risk of complications but these include nerve injury, spinal fluid leak, infection, bruising, ongoing or worse symptoms.
You will be up and about and able to go home within a few hours of the procedure.
Simple painkillers may be helpful in the first week or so which we will provide.
You will benefit from taking regular short walks which can be increased quickly.
I strongly encourage early rehabilitation, with physical therapy and exercise recommencing from 1-2 weeks.
You can return to work within a few weeks or when you feel ready.
I will see you back in clinic six weeks after the procedure.
I am here to support you before and after your procedure and you can talk to me or the team at any time.
I recommend you read the comments from my patients of their experience under my care.