Anterior Lumbar Surgery
This means getting to the lower or lumbar spine through the tummy (abdomen). This is an excellent way of accessing the spine for many surgeries.
It has several distinct advantages over the more commonly offered surgery through the lower back, including avoiding upsetting the supportive musculature of the lower spine and upsetting the tissues & joints of the adjacent spinal areas. Apart from the initial skin incision, very little tissue is disrupted: The approach involves ‘sneaking’ around & between structures and this has been shown to give quicker rehabilitation & better long-term results for many surgeries including fusions.
It is the only approach which allows for lumbar disc replacement.
Anterior lumbar surgery is very specialised and Mr Cass is the only surgeon regularly carrying this out in SE England, outside of London. He pioneered the techniques in Sussex 14 years ago and has a large series of cases using the technique.
Anterior lumbar surgery has its own specific risks, including a very small chance of damaging nearby blood vessels, DVT and some lesser risks, including in males a small chance of reduced fertility. These risks & mitigation against them would be discussed with you carefully by Mr Cass if you are considering this surgery: Mr Cass has worked with the Mr Michael Brooks, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, on these cases for 13 years and they always operate together. Between them they have reduced the risks of the surgery to very low levels.
The technique is not suitable for some lumbar operations, and is not suitable to all patients.
If anterior surgery is something that is an option for your treatment, Mr Cass will discuss all the details, pros & cons with you carefully to allow you to make an informed decision.