Suncoast Congressman Vern Buchanan underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc on Monday. The procedure was performed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and took only an hour.
He is expected to make a full recovery and be back at work the week after next.
But, ten years ago a patient undergoing this procedure could anticipate a two or three day hospital stay, several hours under anesthesia and months of recovery. Now, new technology and techniques can get you back on your feet, in some cases, that day.
The normal aging process sometimes causes a disc to bulge or herniate, also over activity and exertion, such as bending over and not using the proper form. Sports activity is also to blame for some ruptured or herniated discs.
Tan Li, OD, of Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota performs the now minimally invasive technique to repair a disc. He said this is what was involved ten years ago to repair the damage.
"An incision would be about three or four inches, the surgery would be about an hour to two hours, patients would typically stay a day or two." Said Dr. Li.
Now, there are newer minimally invasive techniques and technologies to speed surgery and recovery, he explained. "A small incision, less than an inch long, surgery would be about fifteen to thirty minutes blood loss is about a teaspoon if that, and patients usually go home in about an hour or two."