Prof. Dr. Erkan Kaptanoğlu

Laser Use in Spine Surgery

In neurosurgical practice, laser has been used for a long time in both diagnosis and treatment. Laser technology is developing day by day, new devices are being made and new areas of use are emerging. Laser devices have not become widespread due to their high energy and the sensitivity of the tissue they are used on. We hope that in the near future, more effective and safer laser devices will be developed for neurosurgeons and techniques that allow their widespread use will emerge.

Lasers have been used in some areas of spine and spinal cord surgery. Percutaneous laser disc decompression was tried in the late 1980s. By using a laser through optical cables passed through a needle, the water in the nucleus pulposus in the cartilage in the waist was vaporized and an immunomodulatory effect was created. In this way, it was planned to treat herniated discs. It is known that some of these patients undergo surgery and even laser ablation of the intervertebral disc may accelerate disc degeneration.

In the epiduroscopic laser neural decompression (ELND) treatment, the sacrum is entered under local anesthesia and the epidural space (around the spinal cord dura) is reached with the help of a camera called an epiduroscope. The fiberoptic cable of the laser is inserted through one of the working channels of the epiduroscope. With the help of the laser, adhesive bands can be cut and hernia material can be intervened. In laser treatment, serious side effects can be encountered due to the high energy of the laser and the sensitivity of the tissue it is used on.

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