The microdiscectomy procedure has been the "gold-standard" technique for unilateral disc resection. Improved technologies now provide a minimal access approach to this procedure.
The minimal access, minimally invasive procedure involves localizing the disc space using fluoroscopy. A 1 cm paramedian skin incision is created and a series of dilation tubes are used to increase the opening so that a 2 cm access port may be secured in place. This access port provides a "tunnel" to the spinal canal.
Microlaminectomy, discectomy and foraminotomy may be performed using any combination of techniques. The procedure may be supplemented with the use of endoscopes, microscopes or loupe magnification. The patients are routinely kept overnight and discharged the following morning.