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When you hear you need spine surgery, you might wonder how big the scar will be on your back. What if you knew it would only be a few tiny ones?

It’s true if you have robotic or minimally invasive spine surgery. Rather than a long cut (incision) down your spine, you’ll have one or more small ones instead. Our surgery team then uses a small camera or high-power microscope and miniature surgical tools for spinal repairs. Sometimes, they may even use a carefully programmed surgical robot to do the procedure. The result? Smaller scars. Shorter recovery times. And often less pain.

While the idea of having surgery might make you nervous, chances are, you probably want to do something about that constant pain in your back, neck, arm or leg. And in a way that’s not too disruptive to your back — or life. Our expert spinal surgery providers know what it takes to do robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery. We go over what you can expect from surgery, recovery and follow-up care. With expert providers by your side, you can feel confident about heading into the operating room.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

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Comprehensive care:

Robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery treats many spine conditions. We use it for degenerative and herniated discs, scoliosis, kyphosis, spinal column tumors, infections, fractures and more. Meet our team.

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Comfort and convenience:

Having robotic or minimally invasive spine surgery has many advantages over traditional procedures with large incisions. You’ll have only a few tiny scars and typically lose less blood during surgery. Most patients have shorter hospital stays and reduced pain after surgery. And recovery time is usually faster, too.

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High volume specialty:

Each year, Cleveland Clinic treats thousands of people with neck and back conditions. Whether you have a common problem or one that’s more complex, we can help. Our nationally recognized providers excel in orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery and other related areas.

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Virtual visits:

There’s no place like home while you’re recovering from surgery. So, when you need a quick check-in with your care team, why not try a virtual visit? You’ll get the same great care as an office visit. But you’ll meet with them online using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Without leaving the house.

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Innovation and research:

We’re constantly researching new ways to diagnose and treat spine conditions, injuries and infections. Our clinical trials allow us to test new drugs, surgical approaches and other therapies before they’re available elsewhere.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We’re recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Consultation at Cleveland Clinic

There are many benefits to having minimally invasive surgery. It allows us to make repairs without damaging nearby muscles and soft tissues. Because we make smaller incisions, you likely won’t bleed as much. You also may not need as much anesthesia. And you’ll probably have less pain, with a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery than traditional spine surgery.

We treat many types of spine conditions with robotic and minimally invasive surgery. A surgery team or a computer-guided surgical robot controlled by a surgeon can:

It’s important to understand that not everyone is a good candidate for robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery. We follow a checklist to make sure minimally invasive surgery will be successful for you.

That’s why we have you do a consultation before we schedule any procedure. We want to make sure we work with you to select the best treatment for the best possible results.

What to expect during your consultation

When you come to your appointment, your provider will take time to learn more about you — and what’s been happening with your back. They’ll go over your health history and your symptoms. They’ll want to know how long you’ve had back pain, what kind of pain you’re having and how it’s affecting your life.

Your provider will do a physical exam and look at your spine. They may also order imaging tests like an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or back X-ray.

During this visit, you’ll also learn about the benefits and risks of robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery. Your provider will go over how to prepare for surgery, what’ll happen in the operating room (OR) and what you can expect during recovery.

Meet Our Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Team

Cleveland Clinic believes in team-based care to give you the most personalized experience. This means you’ll have a care team built upon your needs, with providers like:

Your care team confirms your diagnosis and builds your spine surgery plan. Having different providers from different specialties on your team means you can get the best care and results.

Locations

Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Getting Ready for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Cleveland Clinic

There are some things we may have you do before you head into the OR:

  • Take antibiotics before surgery to prevent infection.
  • Quit smoking if you smoke. We can help you with that.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen your body and muscles for a shorter recovery period.
  • Go over all medications you take (prescription or over the counter).
  • Talk about what you can eat and drink (if anything) before your surgery.
  • Help you craft a recovery plan to help things go smoothly when you leave the hospital.

Having Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Cleveland Clinic

We use the latest tools and techniques to do robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery so you can get the best possible results. Here’s what to expect:

  • Our team will use a thin, telescope-like tool with a tiny camera (endoscope) or a surgical microscope to guide them as they work.
  • We make small cuts and insert one of these tools into them. The video camera or microscope helps us see your spine as we work.
  • We also insert tiny surgical tools through the incisions to make the repairs.

If you’re having robotic surgery, your surgery team uses a robotic arm to hold tools and guide your surgeon to the correct location. After either type of surgery, we close your small incisions with stitches (sutures), surgical glue or staples. And we cover them with small bandages or surgical tape.

Recovering From Robotic and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Depending on the kind of surgery you have, you may be able to go home the same day as your procedure. Or you may need to stay in the hospital for up to a few days.

Minimally invasive surgery protects healthy muscles and soft tissues. So, you’ll likely have less pain than with traditional open surgery. If you do have pain, our team can help you manage it.

Once you leave the hospital, you can expect your recovery to take anywhere from a few weeks up to a few months. Again, this depends on the type of condition you had and what we did to repair it. You may start physical therapy sessions to build strength and help you move better. This can help you speed up your recovery.

You’ll also have follow-up appointments with your care team to keep track of your healing. We also use these appointments to listen to your concerns and answer questions about your recovery.

Taking the Next Step

Constant back pain can stop you in your tracks. And keep you from doing the things you love. But the idea of having surgery can often be a little nerve-wracking. All that pain, recovery time and a big scar. It doesn’t have to be that way. Robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery at Cleveland Clinic can get you back to enjoying life sooner than you think.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery experts is easy. We can help.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery experts is easy. We can help.


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