Minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery offers patients an alternative to traditional spinal surgery

Posted on 2/2/2018

Anyone who suffers from back pain knows it isn’t just an inconvenience – it can be downright unbearable. It’s estimated that about eight out of 10 people will suffer from back trouble at some point in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are treatments and procedures to help relieve and treat back pain.

In addition to traditional spinal surgery, Palmetto Health offers patients minimally invasive surgery including endoscopic technology (TESSYSS®). Compared to traditional spine surgery, endoscopic spine surgery uses a small incision. This treatment can provide immediate relief from back pain, drastically reducing the level of discomfort or even eliminating the problem permanently.

This advanced surgical approach is used to treat spinal conditions such as herniated discs, sciatica and spinal stenosis using the smallest incision available. It is typically performed in under an hour. This technology allows patients to be treated on an outpatient basis with rapid recovery. In certain circumstances, patients can have the surgery performed using local anesthesia and sedation as opposed to general anesthesia. In the Midlands, endoscopic spine surgery is exclusively available at Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge.

“I’m excited we now can offer our patients the most advanced minimally invasive techniques right here in the Midlands,” said Seth Molloy, M.D., neurosurgeon, Palmetto Health-USC Neurosurgery. “I believe those patients who have not had success with conservative therapy and are looking for the least invasive spine surgery available will benefit from treatment using this innovative technology.”

This surgery would only be performed on patients with conditions that could not be otherwise treated with traditional techniques such as certain disc herniations and arthritis of the joints in the low back. The goal of surgery would be customized to fit a patient’s needs, but would focus on treatment of low back disease while preserving motion to a patient’s spine following surgery.

A patient may be a candidate for endoscopic spine surgery if:

  • Symptoms caused by herniated discs have not improved with conservative management
  • There are symptoms of leg pain caused by overgrown tissue such as ligament or joints
  • There is difficulty walking caused by spinal stenosis

This procedure reduces surgical time, blood loss and postoperative pain. MRI, CT and X-ray image results are used to help determine whether this procedure is the best option.

“A patient can be a conditioned athlete looking for the quickest recovery or someone seeking relief for leg pain because of a disc disease. In either case, the endoscope is a safe and effective option to treat their condition,” Molloy said.

About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the South Carolina Midlands region and one of the state’s largest employers, comprises more than 15,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s Vision: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes six acute-care hospitals in the Midlands—Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey. In the South Carolina Upstate region, Palmetto Health also co-owns Baptist Easley Hospital. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, the system also includes the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, the region’s largest multispecialty group, which serves as the entry point to the health care system with more than 500 providers serving patients in more than 80 practices and nearly 100 locations. Palmetto Health also is supported by two 501 (c)(3) foundations, and trains the next generation of physicians through its 24 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit or call 803-296-CARE (2273).


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