This surgery involves removing all or part of the disk that acts as a shock absorber between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine.
Lumbar diskectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a cushion or shock absorber (also known as an intervertebral disk) that:
In some cases, a lumbar diskectomy can be performed using a microscope that is inserted through a small incision (microdiskectomy). Prior to removing the intervertebral disk, the surgeon may also:
Even without intervention, most episodes of back pain will usually resolve within six to eight weeks. If one of the disks in your spine has moved out of place and is putting pressure on other structures (a herniated disk) it can cause:
To help ease these symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend medication and physical therapy.
Your healthcare provider may recommend a lumbar diskectomy if your symptoms:
Prior to surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During the surgery you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
A lumbar diskectomy typically takes a few hours. Many patients spend a few days in the hospital after this surgery. However, depending on the nature of your specific condition and health, your doctor may feel that your surgery may be safely done as an outpatient.
Do not forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a lumbar diskectomy?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also let your primary care physician know the details of your surgery and treatment plan.
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