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:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • nerve damage
  • blood clots
  • leaking spinal fluid.


All GlobeHealer Site content, including graphics, images, logos, and text, among other materials on the site are only for education purposes. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always contact your physician or qualified health provider for information regarding your health. Information on this site regarding the overview, diagnosis, and treatment of any kind should be looked at, in addition to the advice and information of your health care professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking treatment or medical advice due to information found on the GlobeHealer site. If there is even the possibility that you may have a medical emergency, seek treatment, call your doctor, or call your local emergency telephone number immediately. GlobeHealer does not endorse being the first line of communication in case of emergency and does not endorse any specific test, physician, facility, product, procedure, opinion, or other information that is or may be mentioned on this site or affiliated entities. Reliance of any and all information provided by GlobeHealer, its employees, affiliations, others appearing on the Site under the invitation of GlobeHealer, or visitors of the site is solely at your own risk and is not the responsibility of GlobeHealer.

Image Source: