Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
Long Island

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How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Minimizes Risk

Minimally invasive spine surgery refers to a wide range of procedures that involve making a few small incisions to perform spine surgery. Traditional (open) spine surgeries involve one long incision, through which the surgeon makes the necessary adjustments to the spinal column, vertebrae, spinal discs, and nerve roots. But minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through a few small incisions, usually under fluoroscopy guidance, thus ensuring better results with minimal risks.

Dr. Kakoulides often performs minimally invasive spinal surgery in Long Island (instead of open surgery) because it minimizes blood loss during surgery, minimizes the risk of complications, involves less pain, and ensures faster recovery. Most patients can resume most daily activities within a few days instead of a few weeks. Thanks to advanced tools and techniques, open surgery is no longer necessary and, in fact, should be avoided.

When is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Needed?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is suitable for patients with painful spinal conditions, especially those leading to severe neurologic symptoms, such as loss of mobility, numbness, tingling sensations, and muscle weakness. You may need a minimally invasive spine surgery if any of the components around your spine are damaged, such as the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, nerve roots, spinal cord, or the surrounding muscles and ligaments. You may need minimally invasive spinal surgery in Long Island in the following situations:

Degenerative Disc Disease:

The spinal discs between the vertebrae lose moisture, become thinner and flatter, and may develop bone spurs, making them incapable of absorbing the shock of vertebral movements.

Disc Herniation:

The soft inner nucleus of the spinal discs may bulge out via cracks and tears on the outer shell. The bulging components may pinch the surrounding nerve roots.

Facet Joint Arthritis:

The soft, fluid cartilage that covers the facet joints gradually thins and wears out, leading to bone spurs that pinch the surrounding nerve roots.

Spinal Tumors:

A benign or malignant growth on the spine or spinal cord may press against the nerve roots and spinal cord, causing pain and discomfort.

Spinal Stenosis:

The spaces between the spinal vertebrae might become narrower because of numerous conditions, placing pressure on the nerve roots exiting through the spine.


A condition wherein one of the vertebrae of the spine slips out of place and slides onto the vertebra underneath, leading to nerve compression and pain.


This is a sideways curvature of the spinal column — it can be congenital, or it can happen because of cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

Spinal Fractures:

The vertebrae of the spinal column may get dislocated, damaged, or fractured because of injuries, trauma, and accidents.

A Last Resort

While minimally invasive spinal surgery in Long Island ensures safe results with minimal risks, it should only be considered a last resort option. Dr. Kakoulides always favors conservative treatments over surgery. He tries to address the root cause of your spinal concerns with physical therapy, rest, chiropractic care, and injections. He only resorts to minimally invasive spine surgery if all conservative solutions fail or if you have the symptoms of severe spinal cord dysfunction, known as myelopathy.

Myelopathy is a spinal cord dysfunction that leads to numerous neurologic symptoms, such as the loss of mobility, instability, loss of bladder control, muscle weakness, and numbness and tingling sensations. The onset of neurologic symptoms indicates that your spinal cord or nerve roots are severely compressed or pinched because of the underlying spinal condition. If you don’t address the situation soon, you may also suffer paralysis. Minimally invasive spine surgery is the ideal solution in this case.

xrays before minimally invasive spinal surgery in long island
x rays before minimally invasive spinal surgery in long island

What are the benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

  • Involves a few small incisions instead of one large incision
  • Minimal blood loss and bleeding during surgery
  • Minimal risk of complications, such as infections
  • Optimal precision, thanks to fluoroscopy and other imaging tools
  • Minimal pain and discomfort after surgery
  • Minimal downtime of a few days
  • Significantly faster recovery than open surgery

To learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spinal surgery in Long Island contact our office for a consultation.

Techniques Used During Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Tubular Surgery:

Dr. Kakoulides uses various dilators to stretch and separate the muscles and soft tissues, creating just enough of an opening to pass the surgical tools without damaging the muscles. This procedure avoids cutting excess soft tissues.

Lateral Transpsoas Interbody Fusion:

Dr. Kakoulides performs a “lateral” procedure, which means the incision is placed on the sides of the body, thus avoiding the muscles and ligaments on the abdomen. This procedure uses a lateral incision to decompress nerves and facilitate spinal stability.

Percutaneous Fusion:

Dr. Kakoulides performs the percutaneous technique to implant unique instruments and tools at various points in the vertebrae via a few small incisions. The goal is to stabilize the spine, fuse two adjacent vertebrae, and stimulate natural bone regeneration.


Dr. Kakoulides inserts a specialized needle into the vertebrae and uses a balloon to restore the vertebra’s height, following which bone cement is injected for stability. This treatment repairs vertebral compression fractures and ensures optimal spinal stability.

best neurosurgeon in Long Island


Dr. George Kakoulides, the eminent neurosurgeon of Long Island, brings expertise in complex spine surgeries, blending innovation with compassionate care. Armed with accolades from Tufts University School of Medicine and The Fletcher School, his tenure at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center honed his skills. Affiliated with Long Island Brain & Spine, his holistic approach tailors treatments for each patient, integrating conservative methods with advanced surgical techniques. A pioneer in enhancing patient experiences, he co-founded IKONA, revolutionizing healthcare. Dr. Kakoulides, renowned for his kindness and expertise, is shaping the future of neurosurgery, one patient at a time, setting the standard for excellence in Long Island’s medical community.

Contact Dr. George Kakoulides

Dr. George Kakoulides is a board-certified neurosurgeon with decades of experience in the latest and safest minimally invasive spinal surgery in Long Island techniques. He only recommends minimally invasive spine surgery if it’s deemed to be absolutely necessary — most patients can resolve their issues with non-surgical solutions. Please schedule an appointment to determine if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery in New York.