ESS stands for Endoscopic Spine Surgery which is a surgical procedure using small tubular systems and micro-sized incisions in combinations with an endoscope to visualize the operative surgical field. Generally, endoscopic surgical methods are used to treat other parts of the body, visualization of tissues, and advances in optics. Most spinal surgical procedures involve the replacement of the diseased region by the surgeon and a clear vision of the surgical field is the first thing needed to complete the surgical goals. In earlier days, spinal surgery was performed using wide tissue dissection, ling skin incisions, and even resulted in bone removal.
Endoscopic spine surgery is different from other traditional procedures such as laser spine surgeries, micro-invasive, and invasive. Now endoscopy is revolutionizing the management of spinal abnormalities. In the experience hands of a spine surgeon, most of the endoscopic spine procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, within one hour the patient can walk, eat, and even get back to normal life just a few hours after surgery.
Endoscopic Spine Surgery offer patients many potential benefits, including
ESS may not be suitable for certain spine surgery indications including cancer, trauma, spinal instability, and scoliosis. In those cases, the surgeon will carry our minimally invasive spine procedure.
As with other surgery, ESS also has equal benefits and risks associated with surgery. You need to speak with your spine surgeon and discuss with them the potential benefits and risks related to the treatment of your spinal disorder.
Benefits: small incisions and targeting of the particular surgical site mean less trauma to muscle, skin, and soft tissues leading to less blood loss and quicker recovery. After a few hours, the patient can return to normal.
Risks: ESS is highly complicated as it deals with sensitive areas of the human body. To be frank, only a few surgeons perform ESS techniques with regularity to be proficient. Normally, Endoscopic spine surgery is not fit for revision surgery, high-grade spondylolisthesis, and revision surgery.
The first step is preparing the patient for surgery including the administration of a local anesthetic to prevent brain damage. A 1-inch skin incision is made and a tubular trocar is inserted into the surgical area. Based on the patient’s diagnosis, the endoscopic technique may access the spine using approaches: either transforaminal or interlaminar approach.
In the next step, a tiny camera is inserted through the trocar to the specific area of the spine. The camera catches and projects images of the operative surgical site onto a monitor from the physician's point of view. During the surgical procedure, the endoscopic camera assists and guides the surgeon.
When the operation has finished, the endoscopic camera and trocar are removed and the small is closed with the help of dressing.
Advancement in technology has turned endoscopic spine surgery a possible one to help the patients with critical conditions. It will offer relief to a new generation of patients with chronic back and neck pain.