Laser Spine Surgery
What is Laser Spine Surgery?
Lasers have been used in medical procedures for over 40 years. Their place in spine surgery is controversial among surgeons, although it has been a successful marketing tool for some practices. The majority of spine surgeons do not use lasers for any procedures in their practice.
Lasers are often used alongside MIS techniques. Surgery with lasers still requires most aspects of "open" or MIS techniques. An incision is made, and operating instruments are used to remove bone and ligaments that are involved in spinal disease. For any laser surgery, the laser is only used for a minority of the procedure. Lasers may be able to remove small parts of soft tissue or herniated disc, however this can also be accomplished with other surgical instruments. Lasers remove tissue by transferring heat to them; this heat then passes through nearby muscles, bone, and nerves as the heat cools. Unlike other surgical instruments, lasers only produce a straight beam of light, and does not have the ability to maneuver around sensitive structures like another surgical instrument can.
For these reasons Dr. Bjerke does not believe that lasers are more effective than other non-laser instruments for any spine procedure. He does not utilize any laser techniques in his practice in this fashion.