Myth vs. fact: Misconceptions of “the laser”

“But what if this?” or “How does this?” or “Why that?” – we know this is how a lot of your questions about surgery with Laser Spine Institute start. There’s a lot of information out there about procedures and what is best for a patient, so we wanted to help clear up these myths in our latest social media series – Myth vs. Fact: Misconceptions of “the laser.”

Myth: The laser scalpel is “experimental.”

Fact: The laser scalpel has been both FDA and Medicare approved.

Myth: More surgeons don’t perform laser surgery because it’s seen as “controversial.”

Fact: It takes a highly skilled surgeon to operate with a laser. The skill of operating through a tube of ½ inch or less requires training beyond that of typical surgeons. Our surgeons undergo an extensive fellowship program before performing surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Take, for example, Michael C. Weiss, D.O, Chairman, Department of Surgery, and leader of surgical staff at Laser Spine Institute’s nationwide centers. After spending 15 years gaining experience by performing a wide array of surgeries—including spine, knee, shoulder and joint replacement surgeries—Chairman Weiss was the first surgeon at the hospital where he worked in Fort Lauderdale to perform laser disc surgery in the early 1990s. Recruited by Laser Spine Institute in 2005 to join the team, Chairman Weiss underwent six months of rigorous laser training in which he learned “nothing but” minimally invasive spine and neck surgery.

So what’s Chairman Weiss’s favorite part of being on the Laser Spine Institute team?

“To see a patient have to be wheeled into the OR—then walk out of the center an hour later,” Chairman Weiss says, “you just can’t explain how good that feels.”

Did You Know? Get the Facts.

  • Laser Spine Institute’s procedures typically only require incisions of less than 1 inch.
  • Unlike open-back surgery, recovery doesn’t require a hospital stay and has lower infection rates (0.3% compared to 4.5% in hospitals) and complication rates (4% compared to 31% in hospitals).
  • 50% of patients report returning to work within one month of surgery; 80% of patients return to their jobs within 3 months after surgery.
  • 97% of patients would recommend Laser Spine Institute procedures to friends and family.

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