All you need to perform spine surgery is a medical license — you don’t have to be a trained surgeon. This can make the consequences of adverse effects even more serious. According to a 2016 study published in Surgical Neurology International, more and more frequently, the physicians performing laser disc decompression surgeries are not surgeons, but instead, “pain management specialists” like anesthesiologists, radiologists or physiatrists. The researcher says “the laser vaporizes/shrinks a small portion of disc tissue that lowers intradiscal pressure/volume, and thereby provides symptomatic relief but the surgeries were “ineffective for managing acute/chronic pain in these patients.” Without surgical training, the pain management specialists were unable to address surgical complications.¹ In a different study, the researcher wrote “to date, laser discectomy may be more effective in attracting patients than treating them.”² In one study, outcomes were seen to be noninferior compared with conventional surgery; however, the study did show a higher speed of recovery with the conventional surgery and the number of reoperations was significantly reduced with conventional surgery.³ There are no randomized controlled trials that prove the superiority of a laser approach over a non-laser approach.
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