Laminotomy & Laminectomy

Chronic neck or back pain can prevent you from getting out and enjoying activities you love. Perhaps it’s time to explore the advantages of a laminotomy or a laminectomy at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge. Dr. Harrod and Dr. McCarthy are board certified surgeons and experts in these minimally invasive surgeries. The practice offers three convenient locations in Baton Rouge, Walker, and Prairieville, Louisiana. Take a step for your overall well-being—call or schedule an online consultation today.

Laminotomy & Laminectomy Q & A

What is a laminotomy and a laminectomy?

Laminotomy and laminectomy are minimally invasive procedures to treat spinal conditions. Both involve removing bone from your spine. Both surgeries help to widen the opening around your spinal cord and nerves, relieving pressure and pain.

The surgeries are named for lamina, the bony “roofs” that runs along the back of your spinal canal. A laminectomy is a common procedure to remove part of that “roof.” The amount of bone that Dr. Harrod or Dr. McCarthy need to remove varies on your condition. You may also need other tissues, disc or bone fragments removed to relieve pressure on your nerves and spinal cord.

As the name suggests, a laminotomy also involves your lamina. But in this procedure, surgeons remove less of your bone.

What conditions do laminotomy and laminectomy treat?

Laminotomy and laminectomy are typically performed to relieve pressure. The conditions these surgeries treat include:

  • Sciatica
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Nerve compression due to bone spurs, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, bulging or herniated discs, or arthritis in your spine.

What should I expect before a laminotomy or laminectomy?

Dr. Harrod or Dr. McCarthy review your medical history, asking about any medications you’re taking. They’ll advise you to avoid taking medications before surgery that can thin your blood, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, lopidogrel, and warfarin. You’ll also be asked not to drink or eat anything the night before your surgery. It’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothing the day of your procedure.

What should I expect during laminotomy or laminectomy?

Your surgery will depend on your circumstances. Both surgeries are generally performed in a hospital while you’re under general anesthesia.

In a laminotomy, for example, Dr. Harrod or Dr. McCarthy make a small 2-cm incision. Then, using microscopic magnification and minimally invasive surgical techniques, shave off a small rim of bone. This creates an opening to reach the nerve and disc. If you have a herniated disc, your surgeon also removes disc fragments. This relieves pressure, irritation, and sciatic pain.

Surgery typically lasts 1 -1 ½ hours. You can expect to go home several hours after surgery.

If you’re curious about whether laminotomy and laminectomy might be right for you, call or schedule an online consultation today with Dr. Harrod or Dr. McCarthy at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge.