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Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD)

What is exactly PLDD?

Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression is an efficient, safe and cost-effective method to treat herniated intervertebral discs and other spinal issues.

PLLD means Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression. We call a medical procedure percutaneous, when the area or organ is accessed through the skin with a fine needle and not by an open cut.

The word laser indicates that the procedure uses laser to achieve the goal, in this case to vaporize the nucleus pulposus in the disc space of your spine.

Disc decompression is, as it suggests, a process where they release the pressure in the affected area.

What are the symptoms of herniated disc?

Leg, arm, neck and lower back pain

If the herniated disc is in the neck, the pain radiates into the shoulder and arm. This pain can also occur in the arm and leg, when the patient coughs or moves his/her spine into certain positions.

If the ruptured disc is in the patient’s lower back, it can cause an intense pain in the buttocks and thigh.

Tingling or numbness

People who have slipped disc often feel tingling or numbness in the affected body part.


Muscle weakness is a result of spinal cord compression.

Disc degenerations
Disc degenerations

When is disc decompression necessary?

  • If the patient suffers from severe back or neck pain because of herniated disc.
  • In case of pain that has not responded to several weeks of conservative treatments like medicines and physical therapy

What are the benefits of Percutaneous Laser Discectomy?

  • minimally invasive, outpatient procedure
  • no need for general anesthesia
  • short surgical procedure
  • no cutting involved, no scarring
  • shorter recovery period and faster rehabilitation
  • low complication rate
  • high success rate
  • after surgery, the patient experiences significant improvement immediately in his/her condition

How does the procedure go?

Percutaneous Laser Disc Compression is a type of procedure that is conducted under local anesthesia.

The steps of PLDD surgery

  • During the surgery, a hollow needle is inserted into the herniated disc under X-ray guidance.
  • After the needle was placed its proper position, the surgeon inserts a laser fiber through the needle into the center of the nucleus pulposus (the central part of the intervertebral disc).
  • Then the laser energy vaporizes the content of the nucleus pulposus. It creates a partial vacuum which removes the herniation from the nerve root. The pain reduction is immediate. The procedure of PLDD surgery takes usually less than an hour.

How long does the recovery period take after the surgery?

After the procedure, patients return home at the day of the surgery for 24 hours of bed rest. Most of them get back to work in a week. Those who do physical work, have to wait until full recovery, which lasts about six weeks.