Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery — MISS

MISS is the acronym for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. It has changed how neurosurgeons operate today. MISS techniques reduce the need for large incisions, muscle cutting, and a long period of recovery. Instead, your neurosurgeon uses highly refined instruments, tools, devices, and imaging technology to access your spine through skin punctures or tiny incisions less than one-inch long!

How you may benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • Incisions are tiny or skin punctures
  • Skin and muscle damage is minimized
  • Your surgery may take less time
  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • You heal faster
  • Return to normal activities sooner
  • Smaller scars

About minimally invasive spine surgery

The instruments are inserted through a skin puncture or tiny incision.  Segmental, tubular retractors and dilators gently separate muscles and tissues, and gradually increase the size of the operate field.  An endoscope, with a light source illuminates the surgical field.  Small instruments are passed through the endoscope to perform surgery.  Surgical microscopes or loupes (eye wear) are utilized to improve visual clarity.  After surgery, the tissues slide back into place as the tools, endoscope, and dilation devices are removed.  The incision is closed and covered with a small dressing.

Micro-endoscopic discectomy video

Minimally invasive spine surgery procedures

Many spine surgical procedures can be performed using minimally invasive technologies.  Several are listed.

Minimally invasive spine surgery video

Is minimally invasive spine surgery right for me?

Well in advance of your surgery day, your neurosurgeon explains how he performs your procedure.  During the discussion, you learn if your procedure can be performed as a minimally invasive spine surgery or open approach, and why.

The potential benefits of surgery are important to know, but so are the possible risks and complications.  Your risks and complications may be different from those of another patient because you are unique.  Your neurosurgeon takes that into serious consideration and thoughtfully explains potential risks to you, which may include infection, bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, and nerve damage.

Talk with your neurosurgeon

We hope this information about minimally invasive spine surgery has answered your immediate questions.  Remember, your neurosurgeon is your most valuable source to answer your questions about symptoms, treatment and your healthcare.

Learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery from these online sources: