Prof. Dr. Erkan Kaptanoğlu

Open and Closed Surgeries in Spine Surgery

Surgical technique in spinal cord, spine and peripheral nerve surgeries has been popularly referred to as open and closed surgery depending on the way the operations are performed. Academically, operations performed with a smaller skin incision and less healthy tissue damage are called minimally invasive surgery. Here, the surgical field can be accessed by means of tube retractors and microscope or endoscope cameras and tubes and surgery can be performed with less tissue damage. Endoscopic or microscopic cervical, lumbar and dorsal hernia and stenotic spinal canal surgeries are examples of these.

Advantages and disadvantages

Some surgeries are minimally invasive, in other words “closed surgeries”. The advantage of this is that the surgery is performed through a smaller incision, so tissue healing is faster, less bleeding is expected, the hospital stay is shorter and the pain is expected to be less. However, the surgeon’s field of vision is usually more limited than with open surgery.

Open surgeries

In fact, the type of surgery called “open surgery” describes classical surgical operations. Generally, the surgical field is accessed through skin incisions as needed. Subsequently, after the surgery is performed, all the folds and skin are closed. Fortunately, experienced surgeons who are used to performing the most difficult operations with these techniques use these wide openings.

Open operations on the spine usually involve the removal of part of the spine through large skin incisions, surgery for spinal tumors and infections, scoliosis and kyphosis. In closure, all the layers are closed according to their former anatomy. In some diseases of the spine, open surgical techniques may be necessary to access the pathology without damaging the spinal cord.

Closed surgeries

Surgeries known as closed surgery are more commonly known as operations performed through small surgical incisions. These operations are usually performed through a tube, visualized with a camera and the patient is expected to be discharged from the hospital in a short time.

Closed spine surgeries include endoscopic lumbar herniated disc surgeries, thoracoscopic back herniated disc surgeries, and endovascular treatments for vascular diseases such as spinal cord arteriovenous malformations performed through the groin. In addition, a pain pacemaker can be applied to the spinal cord via the closed route.

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