The first minimally invasive spine surgeries (MISSs) were performed in the early 1990’s. Since that time, neurosurgeons continuously improved surgical techniques and equipment to improve patient comfort and quality of life. As a result, almost all traditionally open procedures can now be performed with a minimally invasive approach. This benefits patients because they:

  1. Experience less postsurgical pain. Tiny instruments and accurate medical imaging allow surgeons to make a smaller incision (2-5-cms instead of 5-6-inches). Because of this, the muscles that surround the spine can be left intact and thus patients are more comfortable after surgery.
  2. Receive less surgical anesthesia. In most cases, less time is needed to perform a successful MISS procedure. The risk of potential side effects associated with anesthesia or other medications used during surgery is decreased.
  3. Recover faster. Decreased muscle damage, blood loss, and pain allow for a quicker recovery. Less time is spent in the hospital after surgery and many patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure. This reduced damage to the muscles and tissue can also shorten the physical therapy protocol following surgery.

If MISS is a practical treatment option for their condition/injury, patients can look forward to the benefits above. However, it should be noted that the following factors contribute to a successful MISS procedure and subsequent recovery:

  • Health
  • Physical condition
  • Other health conditions

Patients who have pre-existing medical conditions, are in poor physical condition, and/or use tobacco might not be candidates for a MISS procedure—the decision is always up to the surgeon.

If you’re experiencing back pain or neck pain that won’t go away on its own, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices in Agoura Hills, Valencia or Palmdale, CA to arrange an appointment.  Highly trained neurosurgeon, Dr. Anthony Virella, will examine your condition/injury and come up with a treatment option that’s right for you. The road to a full recovery will begin when you walk through our doors.


Dr. Anthony Virella is a Board-Certified, Fellowship trained Neurological Spine Surgeon with advanced training in the management of complex spinal disorders. He attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a graduate of the UCLA Neurosurgery Residency Program.  Dr. Virella is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.