Advanced laminectomy can relieve pain and numbness due to lumbar stenosis with reduced risk of complications

CCHC_Dr. Papavasiliou_Laminectomy

When the pressure of lumbar stenosis causes pain, numbness or loss of mobility, a minimally invasive laminectomy can bring relief and get patients back to their normal activities more quickly.

This cutting-edge procedure provided by the team of top neurosurgeons at Cape Cod Healthcare targets the areas of the stenosis. Unlike conventional open surgery, the minimally invasive laminectomy is performed through a small incision of about an inch.

The advanced surgery is just as effective as the conventional procedure but with benefits to patients including:

  • Reduced risk of infection and other complications

  • Less blood loss

  • Quicker recovery 

Relieving the pressure from lumbar stenosis

Lumbar stenosis is a narrowing of the opening within the spine. It can be caused by bone spur formation, thickening of the spinal ligaments or bulging of the spinal discs. This can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine causing pain, numbness and reduced mobility.  It frequently occurs with aging but can also affect younger patients.

A laminectomy, also known as decompression surgery, is a procedure to remove the lamina, the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord, and enlarge the opening within the spine to relieve pressure on the nerves.

Minimally invasive laminectomy with a tubular retractor

At Cape Cod Healthcare, the procedure is performed through a tubular retractor, a narrow cylinder less than an inch wide. The length of the cylinder varies depending on the size of the patient, but the incision is no more than an inch.

Before surgery, patients have an MRI so doctors can look at the nerve routes and the spinal cord to determine which nerves are being compressed.

As surgeons work through the tube during surgery, they are guided by an operating microscope. They use specially designed instruments to remove bone spurs or ligaments as needed, increasing the opening and relieving pressure from the spinal cord and nerves. Because of the design of the tube, surgeons can access both sides of the spine through one incision.

With a small incision, there is less damage to surrounding tissue. Patients are up and moving sooner after the procedure and will return to a normal routine more quickly.


Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 500 physicians, 5,700 employees and 900 volunteers and auxilians, Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC) has two acute care hospitals, the Cape’s leading provider of homecare and hospice services (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility (JML Care Center), an assisted living facility (Heritage at Falmouth), and numerous health programs.