Laminectomy Details

A laminectomy is a form of back surgery in which the back portion of one or more spinal bones is removed to relieve pressure on the nerves and create space for the other spinal bones to move freely without pain or discomfort.  Patients who may need a laminectomy usually experience chronic back pain which can be accompanied by stiffness, difficulty walking, numbness or weakness in the lower extremities, or difficulty controlling the bladder or bowels.  These symptoms must be persistent and interfere with normal life activities for the patient to be considered for the procedure, otherwise less invasive treatments (medication, exercise, back braces) are utilized.  This procedure may also be done to remove bony growths in the spinal canal that may be resulting in discomfort for the patient.    

Before Laminectomy

In order to determine the necessity of a laminectomy, the patient must consult with their doctor.  Individuals may be in need of a laminectomy if they suffer from forms of spinal arthritis, spinal tumors, a previous traumatic injury or a herniated spinal disc.  Once it is determined that laminectomy is necessary, the patient should inform their physician of any medications or allergies.  It may also be requested that the patient not eat or drink anything the night before the surgery.  The patient must also be sure to make arrangements for pick up and care-taking after the surgery is done.

How it is performed

Laminectomies are performed under general anesthesia so that the patient feels no pain throughout the procedure.  A breathing machine will be attached to the patient as the patient is unconscious.  The patient is then rolled over onto their back to provide access for the surgeons.   An incision is made in the back near the area of interest after the surgical site is sterilized.  Tissue around the spine will be moved to expose the spine and the surgeon will then remove bony growths and spinal bones as needed.  Afterwards, the incision is sutured shut and the surgical site is appropriately bandaged.  If need be, the surgeon may also fuse several spinal bones together to increase the stability of the spine.  The procedure, as a whole, generally lasts for one to three hours.

Recovery

Immediately following the procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery room to undergo several simple diagnostic tests.  These are needed to assess pain and to provide further instruction to the patient regarding recovery procedures.  Sometimes the patient may go home immediately but it is also the case that patients may spend a night or more at the hospital.

Recovery for this procedure is generally slow and may be accompanied by some lasting pain.  Patients are usually expected to take about a year and a half to return to pre-surgery function.  Physical therapy and regular exercise may be prescribed by the doctor in order to assist in recovery.  Activities involving excessive movement of the spine is usually restricted during this time.

Potential Risks

Laminectomies are usually accompanied by the typical risks seen in invasive surgeries.  This includes: Excessive bleeding, possible clots, pain and/or swelling, infection, and nerve injury.  Regular visits to the doctor can help prevent and/or alleviate these symptoms. 

Why Use Lyfboat ?

We make it easy for you to get quality medical opinions and find the right healthcare providers globally at best prices. Save even more money via our patient discount program! Certain procedures qualify for a Lyfboat discount. Inquire now to learn more!

✓ Compare top hospitals

✓ Save up to 80% on medical costs

✓ Price transparency, quick responses

✓ One click, multiple cost-estimates

✓ Get free second opinions from experts

Free Consultation

Laminectomy Hospitals

We can help you find the treatment that you need

Ready to take the next steps? Make an inquiry and our Care Team will get in touch to discuss your needs and help you find the right clinic and specialist.
Live Chat Assistance