Endoscopic Discectomy of the Lumbar and Cervical Spine

What is an Endoscopic Discectomy?

Endoscopic discectomy, a common type of endoscopic spinal surgery, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove herniated disc material that is causing pain in the lower back and legs (lumbar), mid back (thoracic), or neck and arms (cervical).

Endoscopic discectomy is the least invasive and effective surgical technique for treating spinal disc herniation patients. With endoscopic spine surgery, surgeons do not need to remove bones and muscles in order to remove herniated discs. Surgeons could see your spine with a iPhone size camera through a small surgical port (tube). Large incisions are avoided. The procedure does not traumatize your spine as all traditional spine surgeries do. The whole procedure for a disc herniation is taken about 30 minutes. Patient goes home in 2- 3 hours when the surgery is done in a surgery center.

What are the Advantages of an Endoscopic Discectomy?

Our Endoscopic Discectomy is a true minimally invasive spine surgery that include the following advantages:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Short recovery
  • High success rate
  • Preservation of spinal mobility
  • Local anesthesia
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Same-day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue formation


What Conditions Can an Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Treat?

Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy

  • Disc Bulge
  • Herniated Disc
  • Disc Tear
  • Radiculitis
  • Radiculopathy

Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy

  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Cervical Disc Bulge
  • Cervical Disc Tear
  • Cervical Herniated Disc


How is an Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Performed?

With our discectomy procedure, the patient is brought to the operative room, and intravenous sedation is administered. Under anesthesia, a small metal tube is inserted to the spine for direct visualization. This tube serves as a passage for the surgical tools so that the patient’s muscles do not have to be torn or cut. Then, the annular tear, bulging disc, or herniated disc can be found easily under direct visualization looking through the tube.

Under the guidance of the x-ray fluoroscopy and direct visualization, a piece of the herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. A small disc bulge or annular tear can be treated with a laser, which vaporizes disc material, kills pain nerves inside the disc, and hardens the disc to prevent further leakage of disc material to the surrounding nerves. Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed with a stitch or two.

Endoscope inserted, Disc is viewed on a video monitor.
step two in endoscopic discectomy, debris removed
Damaged disc material is removed.
step three in endoscopic discectomy, disc wall treated
Disc wall treated, Surrounding area inspected.

Upon completion, the patient is encouraged to walk around and is free to leave the surgical center with a companion the same day.

doctors note

Note From Dr. Liu:

Before surgical spine treatment is considered, we will exhaust conservative, non-surgical spine treatment options first. Our advanced diagnostic and pain mapping techniques enable us to ensure precise diagnosis, which is one of the most important factors towards effective treatment of your pain.