A laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the lamina, which is the back portion of the vertebra covering the spinal canal. A laminectomy alleviates the pressure impacting the spinal cord or nerves.
What is it?
This procedure creates space within the spinal canal by removing the protective lamina. This procedure is also known as decompression surgery. The purpose of laminectomy is to eliminate pressure in the spinal canal that has resulted from growth. This method offers results when other medications and therapies fail.
How to prepare?
Prior to a laminectomy, a patient should meet with his or her doctor and discuss current medications, allergies, and past medical history. Patients are instructed to stop eating or drinking before midnight the day before surgery and to stop taking blood-thinning medications and aspirin in advance of the procedure. Additionally, patients should make transportation accommodations following the procedure because the effects of anesthesia impair driving abilities.
What happens during the process?
During the procedure, the patient will be given anesthesia. When the patient is sedated, the surgeon makes an incision and parts muscles in the patient’s back to access the ailing vertebrae. The surgeon then removes the appropriate amount of lamina from the vertebrae. If the procedure is being performed in the event of a herniated disc, the surgeon removes the herniated portion of the disk. Once finished, the surgeon will close the incision with staples or stitches.
Risks and Complications:
A laminectomy comes with associated risks, that include, but are not limited to:
- nerve damage
- blood clots
- leaking spinal fluid.
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