• Neurosciences

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon performs innovative endoscopic spinal fusion surgery, advancing minimally invasive care

Delivering more minimally invasive and robotic surgery options to patients is something Dr. Mohamad Bydon, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, has been helping to lead. He recently performed Mayo Clinic's first endoscopic spinal fusion surgery, which combines the use of robotics and an endoscope to deliver safer, more effective surgeries that are minimally invasive and allow for faster recovery times.

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"One of the things about Mayo is we like to bring in great innovations and be able to offer those to patients," says Dr. Bydon.

Since 2018, he has been performing robotic spinal fusions, which is a surgery done to help stabilize an unstable spine.

"Those surgeries have been very positive for our patients at Mayo Clinic," he says.

Adding another layer of innovation, Dr. Bydon recently performed Mayo Clinic's first endoscopic spinal fusion. 

"In addition to delivering the surgery in a minimally invasive fashion and in a robotic fashion, the endoscopic fashion adds more visualization and more ability to see and to be able to deliver a surgery with smaller incisions and less disruption to the natural tissues," explains Dr. Bydon.

Dr. Bydon calls those two elements paradigm shifts in how surgery is performed.

"With the improved software plus the improved visualization, we now have the ability to deliver surgeries safer, faster and more effectively. And that is something that can benefit many patients in the long run," he says.

He believes many patients with degenerative conditions that would require a decompression could benefit from this endoscopic surgery when combined with a fusion surgery to stabilize.

"That's something that could be done in a robust manner for patients, particularly when you add endoscopic with robotics. I think that's a unique combination that we can offer here at Mayo, and that's an advanced combination that we can offer at Mayo to patients that is not offered routinely in the United States today," says Dr. Bydon.

"This is a program that we plan to continue to build at Mayo Clinic. We've been doing robotics since 2018. And we'll continue building this program as well to allow it to grow and to take its natural shape and to help as many patients as possible."