Thursday, Oct 03, 2002
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Thanks to the METRx system (Micro Endoscopic Disectomy system), which has now enabled minimal hospitalisation and less scar formation for spine problems, Shantakumari is now fit and back on her job.
The new system, while remaining largely same as conventional open surgery, offers a range of advantages and possibilities that were hitherto thought impossible.
Briefing press persons on Wednesday about the new METRx system in Minimal Invasive Spine surgery, Arjun Srivatsa (Consultant Neurosurgeon for brain and spinal disorders) said the system was largely beneficial to those with herniated discs.
The system provides a conduit to the numerous benefits of minimally invasive techniques. By the use of this system, spine surgeons are now able to remove herniated intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine (that put pressure on the spinal nerve roots and acute pain) in a minimally invasive fashion, he said.
Herniated discs occur because the discs that act as shock absorbers between the bones of the spinal column become stiff and less flexible as one grows older.
Discs that lose their flexibility can rupture and cause neck pain and back pain.
A part of the inside of the disc can herniate or leak out through a tear in the ligaments that surround the disc causing pressure on the spinal chord or the nerves that travel out to the arms and legs, Dr. Srivatsa explained.
Conventionally, these discs were removed by open procedures with more tissue removal and disruption and a longer time of in capacitance, the doctor said.
Listing the advantages of using the new system, he said there would be a smaller incision and less damage to the muscles and ligaments of the spinal column. Faster mobilisation, easier rehabilitation, and physical therapy after the surgery, minimal scar formation and shorter hospital stay are the other advantages.
Dr. Srivatsa said he had conducted eight surgeries so far in the City.
Although the equipment for the surgery was expensive, the actual cost of the surgery was just 20 per cent more than the conventional one, he said.
The METRx system was expected to form the basis of all future surgeries and had been expanded to other segments such as cervical disectomy, laminotomy, medial facetectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal canal stenosis. The next step in technology advancement was the insertion of implants, which is already being put to use in the Western countries, he said. The Sapthagiri Digital Imaging Centre in the Chinmaya Mission Hospital Complex and the Sri Satya Sai Baba Hospital in the City were the only places where the new facility was available, the doctor added.
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