What is a Laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a procedure done on its own, or as part of other surgical procedures to treat symptoms caused by different conditions like spinal stenosis , or herniated discs, which put pressure on the nerves and tissues in the spine.

This procedure involves surgically removing the bony part of the vertebra (called the lamina), to expose the spinal canal and the nerves within it.

By removing the lamina, the spinal canal is enlarged and the pressure on the nerves and other tissues inside it is relieved.

Doctors usually recommend other treatment methods before pursuing an invasive surgical procedure such as this; however, when physical therapy and medication no longer provide relief, or if a patient’s symptoms are rapidly getting worse, surgery is usually the best option.

How a Laminectomy is Performed

A laminectomy is performed under general anesthesia, and its duration would depend on the extent of the surgery and what kind of condition is causing the compression.

Marks are made on the skin with a marker, which the surgeon follows when making incisions on the skin. After cutting the skin, the surgeon then cuts through the muscle, and separates it from the vertebrae. Retractors are used to keep the muscles away from the spine while the procedure is being performed.

The surgeon then proceeds to remove the lamina to expose the spinal canal, and have easier access to the discs in between the vertebrae. In some cases, removing the lamina is enough to relieve the pressure, but most of the time, the surgeon may have to remove fragments from a herniated disc or remove tissues to give the spinal nerves more room, in order to relieve pressure.

Once these procedures are done, the surgeon then sutures the muscles closed with absorptive sutures, and uses sutures or staples to close the incision on the skin.

Spinal Laminectomy in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:

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