A Laminectomy is a surgery performed to remove the lamina and any thickened tissue that may be causing a narrowing of your spinal canal. By removing this damaged tissue it enlarges the spinal canal and relieves pressure on your spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
Another surgery that is similar to this is a Laminotomy, this would be like a Laminectomy but only a small portion of the lamina would be removed.A laminectomy is used to treat spinal stenosis and herniated discs symptoms.
For both of these conditions surgery would only ever be considered when all conservative (non surgical) treatments have failed or symptoms are severe enough in the early stages where there is a possibility of a medical emergency occurring.
For some surgeries your doctor may also perform a spinal fusion with or without instrumentation to further help stabilize your spine A few days to a week before your surgery you will be given instructions such as if you can eat or drink and what to expect when you first show up at the hospital.
During the surgery itself you will be given a general anesthesia, you will not be awake for this procedure. This will be performed by an anesthesiologist or anesthetist.Your surgical team consisting of nurses, anesthesiologist or anesthetist, and doctor will hook you up to various machines that will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen while the surgery is taking place.
Once you are fully under the effects of the anesthesia your doctor will then proceed with the Laminectomy.The surgeon will make a small incision in your back at the affected area of your spine and proceed to move away any back muscles that might be blocking their view of the damaged areas.
They would then start to remove your lamina, either fully or partially.If this surgery is being performed for a herniated disc and not spinal stenosis, the surgeon will also remove the portion of herniated disc that is bulging out as well as any pieces that might have broken loose.
In the cases where a spinal fusion is also required; such as if you have vertebrae that have slipped onto another or a curving of the spine, this is the point in the procedure when they would perform it.
A fusion consists of permanently connecting two or more vertebrae by using a bone graft, and if needed rods, screws, plates and cages.To finish the procedure your surgeon will then close any
incision they have made with stitches or staples.
These surgeries can also be done with an endoscope. The benefits of using this method are that the incisions will be much smaller therefore recovery times are less and there is much less scaring. There is also less time spent in the hospital, less need for pain medications and while it does not eliminate the risk it lowers what could possible go wrong.
You will need to discuss with your doctor if you would be a good candidate for endoscopic surgery.Success rates for this endoscopic surgery vary quite a bit. Anywhere from 60-90% of people who undergo this procedure have reduced symptoms.If you have any questions about spinal stenosis, herniated discs or a Laminectomy/ Laminotomy please consult with your doctor.