Minimally Invasive Surgery Specialist

Gary Alegre, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Stockton, CA

Let’s face it: No one ever wants to have surgery, especially when the procedure involves their spine. But sometimes surgery is the best option when you desperately need relief from painful back and neck problems. That’s when you need to talk with Gary Alegre, MD, in Stockton, California, about minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Alegre has extensive training and experience in minimally invasive spine surgery, and often you go home the same day. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature today.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Q & A

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery refers to using a small incision and specialized tools that preserve your muscles. During a minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Alegre repairs the full scope of neck and back problems using specialized instruments that fit through the tiny incision.

A device called an endoscope provides lighting and holds a camera that sends magnified images to a monitor. This allows Dr. Alegre to control the surgical instruments from outside your body while viewing the spine on the monitor.

Is minimally invasive surgery better for my health?

You gain several health advantages with minimally invasive surgery. One of the most important is maintaining the integrity of your muscles and soft tissues.

During open surgery, the doctor makes one long incision through all of the tissues. Then they retract the opening, expanding it until it’s large enough to see your spine and accommodate the surgeon’s hands and surgical instruments. As a result, you sustain muscle damage.

However, when you have a minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Alegre makes a small incision in your skin, but he doesn’t cut through your muscles. Instead, he uses a tubular retractor that gradually and gently separates the fibers, creating just enough space for the narrow instruments.

You gain benefits such as:

  • Barely visible scarring
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Lower risk of bleeding during surgery
  • Lower risk of developing an infection
  • No muscle damage
  • Faster recovery

The bottom line is that you can quickly return to an active lifestyle.

What spine problems are treated with minimally invasive surgery?

Dr. Alegre can use minimally invasive surgery to treat most spine conditions that once needed open surgery, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Compressed nerves
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Compression fractures
  • Spinal tumors

Spine conditions that don’t get better with nonsurgical treatments may improve with minimally invasive surgery.

What procedures are done during minimally invasive surgery?

Dr. Alegre’s extensive experience in minimally invasive surgery encompasses many different procedures. A few examples include:

  • Lumbar microdiscectomy
  • Lumbar spinal fusion
  • Spinal deformity surgery
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Cervical and lumbar decompression

If you struggle with neck or back pain that doesn’t improve, minimally invasive surgery may give you the relief you need. To learn if you’re a good candidate, call Gary Alegre, MD, or book an appointment online.