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Percutaneous Discectomy

What is percutaneous discectomy?
Percutaneous discectomy is the removal of herniated disc material through a very small incision in the skin rather than a traditional invasive surgery. The procedure is performed by one of Southeast Pain Care’s pain management doctors in our pain management clinic.

Who is a candidate for percutaneous discectomy?
Patients are a candidate for percutaneous discectomy if they are suffering from low back and radicular pain caused by a contained herniated disc.

What happens during the percutaneous discectomy procedure?
Percutaneous discectomy only takes a few minutes once our pain management doctor has the needle or probe in place. The entire percutaneous discectomy procedure takes approximately 30 minutes followed by a short recovery period. Patients will remain awake during the percutaneous discectomy procedure, but will be given local anesthetic to numb the skin before our pain management doctor inserts the needle. Using fluoroscopy, a small needle is inserted through the skin to reach the herniated disc. Once the needle or probe is in place, disc material is removed which relieves the pressure on the surrounding nerves. This reduces or eliminates the pain from the herniated disc.

What to expect after the percutaneous discectomy procedure?
Percutaneous discectomy is an outpatient procedure; therefore you can expect to go home shortly after the procedure. Please make sure you arrange for transportation home. The injection site may be sore for a few days, which can be treated by applying moist heat and ice. Your pain management doctor may also provide you with a prescription to control the pain after your percutaneous discectomy procedure. It is important to follow all instructions given to you by your pain management doctor for any prescription. It is also important to limit all activity for the first week following the percutaneous discectomy procedure. Then begin a stretching or physical therapy program.

For additional information on percutaneous discectomy please call Southeast Pain Care to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management doctors.

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