Dr. Barba explains why women should Have multiple diagnostic imaging tests before having minimally invasive spine surgery.
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It’s important to have a complete look at your spine before we do minimally invasive spine surgery. Because the technique involves such small incisions, we have to take advantage of all the information to plan a surgery and to carry it out. Sometimes, we use those images, the CT Scan for example to help guide our GPS systems to do the surgery or use the MRI and the CT Scan in combination with the X Rays at the time of surgery to confirm where we are and how we’re going to do our procedures. I find the X Rays, the MRI scans and the CT scans very helpful because this allows us to really identify all the issues that we have to address at the time of surgery. That gives a better chance of taking care of everything in one operation rather than having to consider coming back for a second surgery. Plus, when we have these small incisions, we have to really anticipate where we’re going before we get there and allow us to really understand what your problem is before we talk about the surgery. Some people might be worried about the risk of X Rays or MRI scans, but the risk of CT scan or X Rays are small as long as you only have a limited number of them though. It’s much better for you than the issues that might have to be done if you had, let’s say, an open spine surgery. In MRI scans, there seems to be almost no risk from that as far as we know so that’s usually very well tolerated. What this information gives, myself as a surgeon or your doctor, whoever that might be, a complete image of your back and a good idea of what needs to be done before the surgery happens.