Endoscopic Spine Surgery | Tampa General Hospital

Endoscopic Spine Surgery

The experienced providers at Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute skillfully perform a wide range of minimally invasive spine surgeries, including endoscopic spine surgery. Endoscopy, in general, involves using a long, thin tube with a light and camera attached (an endoscope) to view the inside of the body. In many cases—as with endoscopic spine surgery—surgeons will insert miniature tools through the tube and use them to perform minimally invasive procedures.

What Conditions Can Endoscopic Spine Surgery Be Used to Treat?

The skilled neurosurgeons on our team can use endoscopic spine surgery to treat a wide range of degenerative spine diseases and other spine conditions, including:

What Happens During Endoscopic Spine Surgery?

Endoscopic spine surgery typically doesn’t require patients to be placed under general anesthesia, so your treatment team will likely begin by sedating you with intravenous (IV) medication and numbing the area around your incision site. After making a small incision, your surgeon will carefully separate the underlying muscles to allow room for the endoscope to pass through. Then, they’ll gently insert the endoscope and guide it to the area of the spine requiring treatment. The video captured by the endoscopic camera will be projected onto a monitor.

After inserting the necessary tools through the endoscope, your surgeon will use them to perform the procedure in question. Then, once the repairs are complete, your surgeon will remove the endoscope and close your incision using stitches.

What to Expect With Endoscopic Spine Surgery

If you opt to undergo endoscopic spine surgery, your surgeon will walk you through exactly what to expect and provide you with a detailed set of instructions for what to do before and after the procedure. It’s important to carefully follow these directions because they’ll be customized to your specific needs. With that said, prior to endoscopic spine surgery, you may need to:

  • Stop eating and drinking for a set amount of time
  • Switch or stop taking certain medications
  • Quit smoking and using tobacco products (if applicable)

Following endoscopic spine surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery room. Because endoscopic spine surgery usually doesn’t require general anesthesia, you’ll likely be able to go home the same day. However, you’ll need to arrange to have a trusted friend or family member drive you home. The recovery timeline varies from one person to another, but in many cases, patients can resume their normal activities within a few weeks.

As with any procedure, endoscopic spine surgery presents certain risks, including bleeding, infection and nerve damage. However, when compared to traditional open surgery, endoscopic spine surgery often causes less disruption to the tissue surrounding the spinal column, leading to less pain and a shorter recovery period. Plus, smaller incisions mean less scarring, and patients can typically avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia. An endoscopic neurosurgeon can explain all of these risks and benefits to you in greater detail and help you decide whether endoscopic spine surgery is the right option for your needs.

Become a TGH Patient

If you think you might be a candidate for endoscopic spine surgery or any of our other minimally invasive spine surgeries, call (800) 822-3627 and request a consultation with one of the experts at our nationally recognized Neuroscience Institute. We offer a full spectrum of care for patients of all ages, treating even the most complex neurological disorders. We operate the nation’s second-busiest functional neurosurgery program, and we provide more neurological services than anyone else in the Tampa Bay region. You can feel confident entrusting your care to our endoscopic spine surgeons knowing that U.S. News & World Report named us a “high performing hospital” in Neurology and Neurosurgery for 2023-24.