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Old 03-13-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
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Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

Had a Hemilaminectomy 17 months ago.

The incision was 6" long. Is this large
incision normal for this type of surgery.

Disc L5/S1 was fused.

Microdiscectomy only requires a small
1" - 1 1/2" incision.

Why would the Orthopedic Surgeon tell
me that he could do a surgery with a small
incision.

Little disappointed with the surgery I did
have. I didn't want any hardware implanted
in my back and that's exactly what the surgeon
did.

 
Old 03-13-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

I assume the surgeon had you sign a release that described exactly what surgery would be performed. In my recent surgery I had a release that indicated both what he expected to do and what he may have to do if he were to find further damage or more problems (I had asked him to do whatever he needed to make my spine as stable and as functional as possible for as long as possible). I had an L3-S1 fusion 6 weeks ago that required a 6 inch vertical incision down my back and a 4 inch horizontal incision on my right hip.

You should request the surgical report from the facility at which you had the surgery and also request all of the associated medical records so you can see what the release that you signed indicated. If you signed a release that allowed for potential need for fusion then the outcome would match what was planned per the release.

There are always cases where doctors run into severe damage and have to do additional work to fix it. This is what occurred in my 1993 surgery. The surgeon called out to the waiting room where my parents were and said "we'll need to fuse higher and use hardware, is that okay?" and my parents agreed.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:50 AM   #3
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

[QUOTE=JCW247;4203410]Had a Hemilaminectomy 17 months ago.

The incision was 6" long. Is this large
incision normal for this type of surgery.

Disc L5/S1 was fused.

Microdiscectomy only requires a small
1" - 1 1/2" incision.

Why would the Orthopedic Surgeon tell
me that he could do a surgery with a small
incision.

Little disappointed with the surgery I did
have. I didn't want any hardware implanted
in my back and that's exactly what the surgeon
did.[/QUOTE]

This probably is typical case of badly treated and informed patient. We have examples of this in all countries.

If you had fusion, then your incision IS OK. But that is why minimally-invasive fusion has been developed.

Hemilaminectomy does not mean anything, this just means approach was through lamina.

 
Old 03-14-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

Thank you kindly for the Feedback:

SPINEAZ & KEANO16

Yes Keano16, I feel like there was some deception with
a bait and switch of what I didn't want. Trusting this
surgeon that I would have no hardware implanted in my
back. It is what it is and there is not much I can do
about it right now. This surgery did not help me. I need
corrective surgery for a impingement on a nerve which I'm
not going to do. It's very, very risky surgery. I had serious
complications with the surgery I had. Again, thanks for your
help/feedback.

 
Old 03-14-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

What is your location?
I can maybe help you in finding good surgeon in your area. Just let me know.

Last edited by murr3; 03-14-2010 at 03:34 PM.

 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

[QUOTE=Keano16;4204055]What is your location?
I can maybe help you in finding good surgeon in your area. Just let me know.[/QUOTE]


Thanks for your offer in finding a good surgeon in my area.
Have already gotten 2nd and 3rd opinions on the surgery.
I get the same response from the opinions that I didn't
need this major surgery for a bulging heriated disc L5/S1.
It could have been done with a less invasive surgery
with a faster recovery.

How are you doing KEONO16. Your profile indicates that
you've had quite a few surgeries. After reading the threads
from other members that they continue to have surgery
after surgery with little or no relief, why would anyone continue
to have these moneymaking surgeries especially the outdated
fusions that are still performed by outdated surgeons who I
guess just don't want to change their old ways with the
new current updated technology which requires additional
training. I am not knocking all the great compassionate
doctors, it's the few bad apples that scare us patients away
and give the medical profession a negative name. Get rid
of the bad apples, bring in the newer technology. I consider
myself very fortunate that I didn't have a 360 surgery or any
of the many surgeries that alot of the members have gone
through over the years.

Hope everyone continues to heal and get well.

 
Old 03-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

I'm the proud recipient of 5 spine surgeries. 3 lumbar fusions, 1 cervical fusion, and 1 cervical foraminotomy for stenosis.

Each fusion has removed all or part of a disc. My view is that if a disc is damaged enough and will not do well long term with a minimally invasive approach then fusion, to provide stability, is a viable option to provide long term relief.

When I had my cervical fusion the disc above was showing signs of deterioration. I wish I had pushed to add that level to the fusion. Looks like a possible 2nd cervical fusion for me, possibly this year, due to searing pain in biceps not relieved by anything else.

Most recently L3-L4 had to be fused (17 years after L4-S1) fusion. Personally each fusion has provided significant relief and has been worth it. I've been able to get back to hiking, camping, bike riding,traveling (business and pleasure), etc.

So please know that for some of us fusions are the right decision.

Without requesting and reviewing your own surgical report and looking at the release form you signed before surgery, you can't yet know what your surgeon found when he got into the area and if he had anticipated possible fusion (which may be on the release form signed by you prior to surgery). Tests can lead to projected surgery type, but very often the surgeons find more damage or different results when they open up the patient.

With my cervical foraminotomy my surgeon was stunned at the amount of stenosis and amazed I had survived on low level narcotics. With my L4-S1 fusion in 1993 it was planned to be L5-S1 w/hardware but the L5 vertebrae was not sitting right so the surgeon had to alter his plan to result in a stable spine. I respect his decision and result.

I think some people are just stuck with spine problems. There are people I know who have life long heart problems, hip problems, migraines, knee problems, GI (stomach) problems, gout, MS, etc, all of whom may face repeated treatments and surgeries. A problematic spine may require various treatments and surgeries. I'll do whatever it takes to have a better quality of life and thus far spine fusions have done this for me. The recovery is tough but if in the end I am happy, it's all worth it.
__________________
Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 03-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

HI I am only 4 weeks post op from my L5S1 fusion and yes it is a tough recovery but I totally agree with Spine AZ on this almost everyone has some kind of probs with different treatments just the way it goes. This was my 3rd surgery first two were the microdiscectmy (spell) on the same disc L5S1 and the disc just was not in good shape so after alot of pain and sole searching did the fusion and i am hopeful for my future that i can get back to living my life. I truely hope the best for you and that you will be back to living your life...Kellie

 
Old 03-15-2010, 09:38 PM   #9
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Re: Hemilaminectomy Incision Questions

Thank you kindly SpineAZ & Kelliew for taking the
time to explain everything so clearly.

Hope your healings go well.

 
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