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Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD)

What exactly is PLDD?

Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression is an efficient, safe and cost-effective way to treat herniated intervertebral discs and some other medical conditions.

PLLD means Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression. We call a medical procedure percutaneous, when a part of the body or organ is accessed through the skin, with the help of a fine needle rather than through a larger cut made with a scalpel.

L stands for laser, indicating that during this type of surgery laser is used to treat a condition – in this case to vaporize the nucleus pulposus in the disc space of your spine.

Disc decompression is – as the name suggests – a process where they pressure in the affected area is released to reduce pain.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Leg, arm, neck and lower back pain

If the herniated disc is in the neck, pain can radiate into the shoulder and arms. Pain can also occur in the arms and legs when the patient coughs or moves his/her spine into certain positions.

If the herniated disc is located in the lower back, it can cause intense pain in the buttocks and thigh.

Tingling or numbness

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

Weakness

Muscle weakness is a result of pressure on the spinal cord.

Disc degenerations
Disc degenerations

When is disc decompression necessary?

  • If you suffer from severe back or neck pain because of a herniated disc
  • If you have pain that has not responded to several weeks of conservative treatment such as drugs 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 and scarring involved
  • shorter recovery period and faster rehabilitation
  • low complication rate
  • high success rate
  • immediate improvement after surgery

What to expect during the procedure?

Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression is performed under local anesthesia.

The steps of PLDD

  • During the surgery, a hollow needle is inserted into the herniated disc under X-ray
  • Once the needle is in the right position, the surgeon inserts a laser fiber through it, into the center of the nucleus pulposus (the central part of the intervertebral disc).
  • Laser energy then vaporizes the contents of the nucleus pulposus. It creates a partial vacuum which removes the herniation from the nerve root. As a result, there is an immediate reduction in compression and pain. In most cases PLDD surgery takes less than an hour.

How long does it take to recover?

After the procedure, patients can return home on the same day. 24 hours of bed rest is recommended. Most patients can go back to their work within a week. Patients who do physical work have to wait a little longer, until full recovery which takes about six weeks.