Thousand Oaks, CA, March 8, 2021 – “I felt different right after the procedure,” says Andrea Doctor of her recent experience undergoing endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery at Los Robles Health System’s Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital (TOSH). “I had a ruptured disc which was very painful,” says the athletic and fitness oriented 55-year-old. Fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Armen Oganesian, performed the one level discectomy using the minimally invasive procedure now available at Los Robles Health System. “I was fortunate enough to receive endoscopic spine training in my fellowship and I was shocked to find out that nobody in the greater Los Angeles area was doing it when I moved here for my practice,” says Dr. Oganesian.

The minimally invasive procedure accesses the spine through keyhole incision in the back creating a channel directly to the herniated disc. Surrounding tissue is moved aside gently without cutting. The surgeon guides a special endoscope through the small incision to the surgical field and has a bright and sharp view of all the structures in the spinal canal. The herniated material is removed and the incision is sealed – usually 1 or 2 stitches. “Patients are often up and about with minimal to no pain within hours,” says Dr. Oganesian. “This minimally invasive approach can be used for multiple spinal disorders including herniated discs and spinal stenosis with excellent success.”

Advantages of using endoscopy for spinal surgery include keeping the stabilizing structures of the spine – the ligaments, muscles and bones—virtually unaffected during and after surgery; minimal risk of infection; fewer scars, less wound and muscle pain; and, faster return to everyday life.

“I can’t wait to get back to doing the things I love,” says Andrea. “I look forward to running again and celebrating my daughter’s wedding this summer.” Learn more about minimally invasive spinal surgery and the spine program at Los Robles Health System.