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Automated Percutaneous Discectomy

DAVIS, G. WILLIAM, MD; ONIK, GARY, MD*; HELMS, CLYDE, MD

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Automated percutaneous discectomy is a new, safe procedure for treating herniated lumbar discs still contained by the annulus or posterior longitudinal ligament. In 1985, one of the authors reported a percutaneous nucleus aspiration technique using a 2-mm aspiration probe. This small probe produced minimal tissue damage, allowing the procedure to be done on an outpatient. In this series, 518 patients were treated using this technique for an overall success rate of 85%. Compensation patients, elderly patients, and patients with previous surgery were treated successfully using percutaneous discectomy on an outpatient basis. No intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred.

*Allegheny General Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

University of California, Department of Radiology, San Francisco, California.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.