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Saint Luke's At Forefront Of Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Neurosurgeon utilizes latest technology for spinal surgery to improve accuracy and reduce stress to the body with shorter recovery times

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For many years spinal surgery meant large incisions and lengthy surgeries, hospital stays and recovery times. The advent of minimally invasive spine techniques and corresponding technologies has changed all that.   

H. Dennis Mollman, M.D., Ph.D., at Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute in Kansas City, Mo., is at the forefront of minimally invasive spine surgery in the Midwest and discusses who is the ideal candidate for this type of procedure.

"Over 80 percent of spine disease is not surgical," says Mollman. "Therefore it is critical for the patient to be fully and properly evaluated by a trained spinal surgeon before determining the best course of treatment.  Back pain does not automatically warrant surgery. In fact, in most cases it does not. The most likely candidates for minimally invasive spine surgery are patients with either a pinched or ruptured nerve or slipped disc or ones with a bone malalignment."

Patients who do meet surgical criteria are often able to undergo outpatient surgery.  A minimally invasive spine surgeon will be able to make an incision of less than one inch, navigate through rather than cut the muscle, and complete most procedures in 30-45 minutes. Following several hours of recovery, the patient is usually able to go home and be back at work the next day. Patients requiring surgical fusion typically stay in the hospital for three days and are able to return to work after six weeks to three months depending on the physical demands of the job and the rehabilitation required.

Mollman explains one of the key benefits to minimally invasive techniques is the reduction of surgical stress on the patient and potential complications. 

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