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Lanka Hospitals successfully performs first ever Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion


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Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC recently announced that it has successfully performed a highly specialised spine surgery called Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion with Navigation Assistant. The internationally accredited, multi award-winning healthcare provider Lanka Hospitals has incorporated cutting edge technology and innovative techniques to transform the traditionally long, tedious and risky surgical procedure into a highly successful cost effective surgery, considerably reducing the surgical and recovery time with minimal requirement for post-operative medication.



According to the chief Neurosurgeon Dr. Prasanna Gunasena Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion is a procedure required to treat patients suffering from unstable spines. The condition may occur since birth in some patients or due to ageing factors for others, where it makes the surrounding tissues of the vertebral column grow thicker. This in turn constricts the nerves within the vertebral column leaving the patient to feel pain down the legs and numbness in addition to causing bladder and bowel problems.

The condition if prolonged may cause the spine to collapse with time, requiring insertion of screws to stabilise it. This procedure is not only time consuming, but also makes the patient to be hospitalised for five to six days. Mobilising becomes difficult following such surgeries and recovery tends to slow down. The patient may undergo post-operative pains and discomfort and will be required to depend on lot of medications. In order to avoid the tedious surgical procedure, world’s recognised spine specialists opt for Minimal Invasive procedure. The Minimal Invasive surgeries are also used for the decompression of the nerves in conditions such as sciatica and neurogenic claudication, Dr. Gunasena added. 

Minimal Invasive procedure has simplified the decompression of nerves to a great extent; however Lumbar fusion still remains a challenging procedure. Staying abreast of world’s most modern and innovative technological advances, Lanka Hospitals has adapted the latest navigation technology to conduct the fusion with highest precision. The Navigation is a method incorporated in surgeries where the system overlaps high quality camera imaging with x-ray imagery of a patient, allowing the surgeon to view where and how exactly the screws are placed. This method greatly minimises the complexity of the fusion procedure, and eliminates the possibilities of complications arising from misplacement or mal-alignment of screws. 

Dr. Gunasena stressed the fact that the availability of an advanced medical procedure in the country will greatly benefit the patients having to seek costly medical procedures from overseas. Furthermore, Lanka Hospitals also incorporates a continuous nerve monitoring system which greatly supports the surgeries. Maximising its own resources, Neurosurgery department of Lanka Hospitals has not only adapted the Minimal Invasive procedure, but has also installed specially designed instruments compatible with their navigation system. This further reduces the length of the incision from 4 inches to 2 inches. Due to fast recovery, the patients need not remain in the hospital for more than two days. In addition, the post operative blood loss is dropped to almost zero, therefore does not require insertion of drains. Post operative pains last only for one day, and from the second day onwards pains can be conveniently managed with minimal medication.

Conducting the first Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion with Navigation Assistant for the first time successfully, Dr. Prasanna Gunasena says his team can complete the surgery in 1.5-2 hours. With time, they intend to shorten the time span while increasing efficiency and precision to a great extent. 

Elaborating on the benefits of the Minimal Invasive procedure Dr. Gunasena noted, “Minimal Invasive is ideal for the modern day busy lives, as a patient who undergoes the procedure in the morning have the ability to return home within 24 hours. The recovery period is much faster and no post operative medication or physiotherapy is required. Instead of taking leave for months to recover, the new procedure allows a patient to quickly recover and return to work in a matter of 10 to 15 days.”

“Minimal Invasive procedure with Navigation Assistant is not available in many places in India or Singapore. Only a handful of specialised medical centres in Europe, US and Australia are adopting the procedure. We’re very happy that we could perform this surgery in Sri Lanka which no doubt will lead to an amazing breakthrough in neurosurgery in Sri Lanka as well as the South Asian region,” Dr. Gunasena further stated. 


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