Disc Surgery Types

Disc Surgery Types

When a person experiences severe or chronic back pain it is wise to consult a physician as soon as possible.  The physician will initially prescribe a series of conservative non-surgical treatments.  If these fail then there are a number of disc surgery types which may be taken to correct the problem.  Among the most common disc surgery types are prolapsed disc surgery, herniated disc surgery and disc replacement surgery.  These procedures are usually a last resort to solving back pain problems.

What are the Disc Surgery Types?

The disc surgery type recommended by the physician depends on the specific spinal condition causing the pain. There are two forms of surgical treatment: open-back surgery and endoscopic surgery. Open-back surgery is normally performed in a hospital under local or general anaesthesia, depending on the location of the surgery. Endoscopic surgery can be performed either in a hospital or private clinic. This is because endoscopic surgery is less invasive requiring only a small incision. The choice of technique needs to be made between the patient and their physician carefully. Both disc surgery types have risks which the patient must understand as with any surgical procedure. Further disc surgery types should be a last resort remedy for back pain.

Open-Back Surgery

Open-back surgery is the most invasive method. It is performed in a hospital surgical unit under the same conditions as any other surgical procedure. The patient will be placed under a general or local anaesthesia. An incision is made over the affected area and the entire area is opened for the surgeon to examine and repair the spinal area. Once the surgery is completed the patient is sewn up and undergoes a recovery period in the hospital. This is then followed by a rehabilitation treatment prescribed by the surgeon. This period may be days, weeks, or even months depending on the extent of the surgery. Additionally there are the normal risks associated with open surgeries such as infections, post-surgical complications, and minor pain. This is because this disc surgery type exposes multiple tissue layers which need to be dissected before reaching the actual spine.

Endoscopic Surgery

Endoscopic surgery involves minimal invasion of the body. A small incision is made over the affected area and small surgical implements are inserted to work on the repair. This is a relatively new surgical approach. Guidelines have been established by the International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery (ISMISS). Dr. Lester F. Wilson of Hertfordshire is the UK representative. This disc surgery type can be performed under a local anaesthesia. Because of this the surgery takes a shorter amount of time and often can be done on an out-patient basis. The patient will still follow a recovery and rehabilitation programme but it will generally be shorter. There is also less scar tissue and risk of infections or other post-surgical complications due to the minimal invasion of the body.

Where to Have Disc Surgery

A patient can have the disc surgery type performed at either an NHS or private hospital/clinic. The NHS considers endoscopic a new procedure. As such it will only be performed under special arrangements such as a clinical trial. Open-back surgery is performed at NHS hospitals following the same procedures as any other surgery or in hospital procedure. There are a few private hospitals and clinics which offer both disc surgery types. The following is a short list of private hospitals:

  • The Princess Grace Brain and Spine Centre
  • West London Spine Clinic
  • Ramsey Health Care UK
  • Nuffield Heath
  • Spire Healthcare

What is the Cost of the Disc Surgery Types?

The cost of disc surgery type depends on the surgical procedure. If the patient uses the NHS then the normal wait times and charges will apply. A private hospital will offer a shorter wait time but the cost will be much higher. On average a private UK hospital will charge between £5,000 and £15,000 depending on the type of surgery.

A person should consider the disc surgery types as a last resort to remedy back pain. They should consult their GP and determine the best course of action. If they can afford it, a private hospital/clinic would provide a quicker service.