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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a class of surgery that uses advanced technology to treat spine-related neck and back pain while minimizing injury to the patient. MISS is performed with very small incisions, often an inch or less in length, as opposed to the standard method of open surgery, which uses incisions as long as 6 inches. MISS is advantageous in that it typically causes less damage to the muscles and other tissues in the area surrounding the part of the spine that needs attention. This can benefit the patient in a number of ways:

  1. Shorter duration of surgery and time under anesthesia
  2. Reduced pain after surgery, blood loss, and trauma to the body
  3. Reduced risk of infection
  4. Shorter hospital stay – patients normally return home the same day or stay overnight
  5. Faster recovery time
An incision from a minimally invasive neck surgery

An incision from a minimally invasive neck surgery

MISS is used to treat conditions such as:

  1. Herniated disc
  2. Fractured vertebra
  3. Spinal stenosis
  4. Spinal instability, such as spondylolisthesis
  5. Tumors

Common examples of MISS include discectomy, laminectomy, kyphoplasty, and fusion surgeries.

Is MISS right for you?

Surgery is not for everyone, and most people are able to manage their neck or back pain for years with pain medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle changes. Technology and instruments have improved greatly in recent years, but it is important to note there are always risks associated with having surgery. Therefore, our providers usually recommend surgery only after conservative treatments have been exhausted. If you are considering surgery, your surgeon will meet with you to discuss which options may be best suited to your needs. Many factors are considered including the diagnosis of your condition, the severity of your symptoms, location of the neurological issue, and your age and overall health. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your surgery, which may include the need for x-rays or MRIs, as well as medication and diet restrictions.

In many cases, surgery may reduce or eliminate your symptoms, but the results are never guaranteed. Not all spine surgeries can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, and not all hospitals or surgery facilities are equipped for MISS.

“Dr. Yan Michael Li is an accomplished and skilled surgeon that is always wearing a smile. Dr. Li takes the time to explain the surgery, and has offered input along my entire process during and after my Laminectomy Surgery. Dr. Li comes highly recommended!” – Wesley M., 2020

“Dr. Li was my boyfriends surgeon. He was very helpful and personable and kept us in the loop the entire weekend we were in the hospital. I would highly recommend him.” – Serenna R., 2020

“It was good to be treated with PROFESSIONALISM and CARE. I say that DOCTOR LI and his staff, gave me this best care I needed. DOCTOR LI and his team took the time to explain every step of the procedure, and even took the time to call the following day to find out how I was feeling.” – Stephanie S., 2019

“This being my 6th back surgery, left me very hesitant to go in for another one. His confidence in being able to help me, led me to having it performed. I am on my way to feeling like my old self again, after not being able to walk up a flight of stairs before the surgery. I highly recommend Dr Li.” – Self-verified patient, 2018

“I remember one call I had to make to you after getting home after rehab… I felt so bad to bother you and full of apologies. Your reply was ‘You don’t apologize, you are my responsibility.’ So warm, kind & concerned. Listening and helping. I’ve NEVER in 66 years heard that rich of a reply from any doctor!” – Joy H., 2018

“Dr. Li, There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to you and your team. I am so thankful for the work you do and the part you played in prolonging my husband, Derek’s life. We don’t know how long he has, but you have given him the gift of time. Time spent with me, his wife, and also with our three young children. I will forever be eternally grateful to you.” – Leah M., 2017

“Dr. Li, This letter is to let you know how thankful I am to have you in my life. You are much appreciated and a honor to me and a miracle. I have alot of trust being in your hands and that will never change. I am so thankful to still be breathing and have the relationship I have with my family now. You are a very respectable grown man sir and I will never forget you…” – James H., 2014

“Dr. Li, Our family would like to say thank you to one of the nicest most caring Dr.’s we have come across. Thank you for taking my sister Sharon in and doing her surgery. You kindness will always be appreciated. May your life be filled with love and happiness always. Again Dr. Li thank you!” – The Family of Sharon S.