Florida Spine Institute

Selective Endoscopic Discectomy

A Selective Endoscopic Discectomy (SED) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat leg and back pain attributed to disc problems. This surgery is a good option for patients who have chronic back pain but wish to avoid an open-back spinal surgery.

  • What are the Benefits of Using an Endoscope?

    An important feature of this surgery is that it is done with an endoscope through a keyhole incision. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached at the end, which gives your surgeon an unobstructed view of the damaged discs. This technique is beneficial as it does not require any muscles or tissues to be cut in order to obtain access to the spine. In addition, this method allows for a much smaller incision, minimal blood loss, faster recovery, and much less post-operative pain.

  • What Should I Expect?

    If you have been diagnosed with disc bulge, a herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease, and have been suffering from pain in your lower back, along with numbness, discomfort and tingling in your legs, then your doctor may recommend a Selective Endoscopic Discectomy. The objective of this surgery is to decompress (relieve pressure on) the nerves so you can get back to enjoying a comfortable life.

    During a Selective Endoscopic Discectomy the patient is awake, but given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Your surgeon will use an endoscope and laser to remove and shrink the necessary discs, which relieves pressure on the nerves. The number of discs removed will vary, but will only include the damaged portions. It is a relatively short procedure, typically lasting about 45 minutes per disc.

    After the procedure, patients are able to go home the same day, as there are no hospitalization requirements. You can treat any post-op pain and swelling with ice and pain medications, and you will most likely be able to return to work in about a week.

    Currently, Selective Endoscopic Discectomies have very positive outcome statistics, with 86-92% of patients reporting their back and leg pain decreased. This surgery is so successful for various reasons, including that no deep tissues are cut and the part of the disc that is pressing on the nerve is completely removed.

    You will need to follow up with your doctor anywhere between a few days to a week after the surgery to ensure you and your spine are healing correctly.

Not every patient with disc problems requires spine surgery. The spine care specialists at the Florida Spine Institute may recommend non-operative treatment to relieve your symptoms. Schedule your appointment today and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method of treatment.