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A 33-year-old member asked:

Is spinal laser surgery effective and safe?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 18 years experience
Not fully accepted: Laser spine surgery is an attractive option to patients who fear conventional spine surgery. But there is something to say when there are only a few centers in the country that perform this procedure. With any procedure, educate yourself and proceed with caution. Traditional spine surgery has its risks, but what surgical procedure doesn't?
Dr. Larry Armstrong
Neurosurgery 27 years experience
I agree with Dr. Khounganian's opinion. If it were a leading edge technology, we'd all be offering it. Laser surgery sounds good as a "buzz" word but offers absolutely no benefit over conventional surgery.
Feb 1, 2012
Dr. Jonathan Hyde
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 29 years experience
I agree with Drs Khounganian and Armstrong. Many of these procedures are called "proprietary" and can only be done by doctors trained by and work in such facilities. If these procedures showed benefit to patients, most highly credentialed surgeons would gladly train their peers without restrictive criteria and publish long term results.
Mar 1, 2012
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Read below: All surgical procedures have risk and can be relatively safe as well as effective when appropriately indicated and done by surgeons experienced with those specific procedures. Lasers have there own specific set of risks related to the type of light and heat or thermal energy generated which can have significant effects on tissues exposed to that energy.

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