YESS Selective Endoscopic Discectomy

YESS Selective Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to treat herniated discs in the lumbar (lower back) spine. The YESS procedure stands for "Yield-Elevated and Separate Spaces" and refers to the specialized instruments and approach used to perform the surgery. This technique involves the use of an endoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera and light at its tip, to access and remove the herniated disc material through a small incision.

Here's an overview of how the YESS selective discectomy procedure works:

  1. Patient Evaluation: Candidates for YESS selective discectomy are individuals with herniated lumbar discs causing symptoms such as back pain, sciatica (radiating leg pain), numbness, and weakness. Medical history, imaging studies (such as MRI or CT scans), and physical examinations help determine if the patient is a suitable candidate for the procedure.

  2. Anesthesia: The patient is usually placed under local anesthesia with sedation.

  3. Incision: A small incision, often less than an inch in length, is made in the midline of the lower back, over the area of the herniated disc.

  4. Endoscopic Visualization: A specialized endoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light source at its tip, is inserted through the incision and guided to the herniated disc.

  5. Disc Removal: The surgeon uses the endoscope to visualize the herniated disc material and other structures. Specialized instruments are used to carefully remove the herniated portion of the disc, relieving pressure on the spinal nerves.

  6. Closure: Once the disc material is removed, the endoscope is withdrawn, and the incision is closed with sutures or adhesive strips.

Benefits of YESS selective discectomy include:

  • Minimally Invasive: YESS selective discectomy requires only a small incision and minimizes damage to surrounding tissues, leading to less postoperative pain and a quicker recovery.

  • Precise Visualization: The endoscope provides clear visualization of the surgical site, allowing for accurate removal of the herniated disc material.

  • Faster Recovery: Many patients experience a faster return to normal activities compared to traditional open surgery.

  • Reduced Scarring: The small incision results in a smaller scar compared to traditional open surgery.

It's important to note that not all herniated discs are suitable for the YESS selective discectomy technique. The decision to undergo this procedure should be made after thorough evaluation by a qualified spine surgeon, who can determine if the technique is appropriate for the patient's specific condition and individual health factors. As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with YESS selective discectomy, and patients should discuss their options and concerns with their healthcare provider before making a decision.

Spine Physicians Institute treats back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, stenosis and other spine problems. Patients come to the spine center from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Dr. Sethuraman is one of few Mayo Clinic fellowship-trained spine surgeons in the North Texas area. A fellowship is the highest level of medical education in the U.S.

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