A medical treatment termed as Micro-endoscopic decompression surgery proved beneficial for 67-year-old Rajendra Sanghvi and his family members, who were obese and faced severe spinal issues. They got cured for their health complications at a city hospital here, doctors said on Saturday.

It began with Sanghvi who had a history of back pain and numbness in his both lower limbs. He was later diagnosed with lumbar canal stenosis, which meant narrowing of the spinal canal and compression on the leg’s nerve.

Though he was informed that surgery was the only solution, Sanghvi could not undergo an open surgery due to the precision complications and lengthy hospital stay followed by a slow recovery.

He was suggested to undergo micro-endoscopic decompression surgery, a process in which a specialised tubular retractor is used for the opening up the spinal canal and making the nerves free. Therefore, he was admitted to the city-based Mumbai Spinal Scoliosis and Displacement Center.

The surgery was done using an 18 mm incision (key-hole) with tubular retractors with minimal tissue trauma and blood loss. The patient had complete pain relief, started walking after surgery and was discharged the next day. 

Being completely satisfied with the surgery, Sanghvi also brought his wife Kantiben after six months. She also faced the complications of obesity. Micro-endoscopic decompression surgery proved to be beneficial for Kantiben too, with 100 percent pain relief.

Two years later the couple’s son also underwent the same surgery for the slipped disc problem with 100 percent results.

Health experts say that the surgery is highly beneficial for the patients above 65 years.

"Micro-endoscopic decompression surgery is highly beneficial for the patients with lumbar canal stenosis. The biggest advantage of this surgery is that the scar is hardly 1.5-2 cm long and appears like an ordinary scratch unlike a long ugly scar after laminectomy," said Arvind Kulkarni, head of Mumbai Spinal Scoliosis and Displacement Center.

He said that since there is no muscle or bony trauma, the contours of the back are well preserved. Besides, he also said that since the tissue trauma is so minimal, there is no stress on the patient’s metabolic functions unlike after a bigger surgery with significant tissue trauma.

"The dependence of the patient on pain-killers for the wound site pain is absolutely minimal compared to an open surgery. In fact, patients do not express any experience of wound site pain after a few hours of surgery," Kulkarni told IANS.

"In obese patients, the surgery makes a big difference. Obese patients have wound healing problems and the spine is also quite deep. A long incision is otherwise needed to reach depths of 6-7 cm. The entire procedure can be done using a keyhole in these patients," he added.