This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is Laminectomy?
Laminectomy is a surgical procedure commonly performed as a treatment for low back pain due to injury, spinal abnormalities or disc degeneration.
How is Laminectomy Performed?
In this procedure, a small fragment of the spinal disc is removed to relieve pain. The patient is required to lie down on the operating table with the face down. An incision is made over the particular vertebrae and deeper to the lamina. The nerve root is pulled back to the middle of the spinal column, and the disk or part of the disk is removed.
How to prepare for Laminectomy?
- The patient should inform the doctor about any ailments, medical conditions and medication that the patient may be taking.
- The patient should not smoke for several days before the surgery.
- Two weeks prior to the surgery, the doctor may stop certain medication that the patient may be taking.
- The doctor may advise patients undergoing a lumbar spine fusion surgery to take Fleets enema the night before the surgery.
- The patient may need to give the following tests and examinations:
- Physical examination
- Blood and urine tests
- Anesthesia interview
Duration of procedure/surgery : 1 to 3 hours
Days admitted : 1 to 3 days
Anesthesia : General anesthesia
Recovery : - The patient is kept in a recovery room until the patient regains consciousness.
- The patient can lie on the side or back.
- A catheter may be placed in the patient’s bladder.
- Pain medication may be prescribed by the doctor.
- The patient may be required to wear compression stocking to minimize the possibilities of blood clots.
- The patient may be asked to move about after the anesthesia wears off.
- The surgeon may schedule a checkup a week after the surgery to ensure that the wound is healing and there are no post-surgery complications. Stitches or staples may also be removed during this visit.
- Follow up visits may be scheduled by the surgeon.
Risks : The risks involved in laminectomy are:
- Vertebral bone infection
- Spinal nerve damage
- No relief from pain
- Problem in the spinal column that is above and below the area of lumbar spine fusion
- Bowel or bladder dysfunction
- Sexual dysfunction
- Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid
- Injury to other organs and blood vessels
The general risks involved in any surgery include:
- Breathing problems
- Blood clot
- Adverse reaction to medication and anesthesia
After care : - Patients may sleep on their backs with pillows placed under the neck and knees. Alternatively, they may lie on their sides with knees bent slightly, and a pillow placed between the knees.
- Bending over should be avoided or minimized.
- Driving and doing light activities should be avoided for one to two weeks after surgery.
- Short walks every day is recommended to speed up recovery and reduce pain.
- Patients with a sedentary job may return to work in one to two weeks after surgery. However, patients with strenuous jobs may need to avoid working for two to four months.
The doctor should be contacted if the following symptoms occur:
- Redness, swelling and bleeding from the incision
- If staples or stitches come off
- Severe pain in the legs, back and backside
- Urinating inability
- No control over bowels or bladder
- Swelling, redness and pain in one of the legs
- Inability to move legs
- Severe headache
- Chest pain and breathing difficulty
Learn more about Laminectomy