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Trans-Sacral Epiduroscopic Ho:YAG Laser Ablation of the Ligamentum Flavum in a Live Pig Research Article

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CONCLUSIONS: Although Ho:YAG laser could ablate the ligamentum and bone tissues without causing damage to surrounding tissues, it was difficult to completely decompress the LF under epiduroscopy. This method is a potentially highly invasive procedure that requires caution in its clinical application and needs further improvement in terms of the instruments and techniques used.
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Spine Surg Relat Res. 2021 Oct 11;6(2):167-174. doi: 10.22603/ssrr.2021-0126. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: For the aging population, surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSCS) requires minimally invasive procedures. Recently, trans-sacral epiduroscopic laser decompression for lumbar disc herniation has been reported with good results. In this study, we devised a new method to perform trans-sacral epiduroscopic laser ablation of the ligamentum flavum (LF), known to be the major cause of LSCS. Using a live pig, this study aims to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and drawbacks of this procedure.

METHODS: Using an epiduroscope, we observed intra-spinal canal structures and then examined the feasibility and problems of a decompression procedure to ablate the LF using holmium:YAG (Ho:YAG) laser. The pig was observed for behavioral changes and neurological deficits after the procedure. Histological analysis was performed to evaluate the amount of tissue ablation and damage to surrounding tissues.

RESULTS: Although it was possible to partially ablate the LF using the Ho:YAG laser under epiduroscopy, it was difficult to maintain a clear field of view, and freely decompressing the target lesion has been a challenge. After the first two experiments, the pig neither showed abnormal behavior nor any signs of pain or paresis. However, in the third experiment, the pig died during the operation. On autopsy, no thermal or mechanical injury was noted around the ablated site, including the dura mater and nerve root. Histological analysis showed that the LF and lamina were deeply ablated as the laser power increased, and no damage was noted on surrounding tissues beyond a depth of 500 μm.

CONCLUSIONS: Although Ho:YAG laser could ablate the ligamentum and bone tissues without causing damage to surrounding tissues, it was difficult to completely decompress the LF under epiduroscopy. This method is a potentially highly invasive procedure that requires caution in its clinical application and needs further improvement in terms of the instruments and techniques used.

PMID:35478976 | PMC:PMC8995116 | DOI:10.22603/ssrr.2021-0126

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Trans-Sacral Epiduroscopic Ho:YAG Laser Ablation of the Ligamentum Flavum in a Live Pig

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Spine Surg Relat Res. 2021 Oct 11;6(2):167-174. doi: 10.22603/ssrr.2021-0126. eCollection 2022.ABSTRACTINTRODUCTION: For the aging population, surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSCS) requires minimally invasive procedures. Recently, trans-sacral epiduroscopic laser decompression for lumbar disc herniation has been reported with good results. In this study, we devised a new method to perform trans-sacral epiduroscopic laser ablation…

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