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Hemilaminectomy Surgery

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A laminectomy surgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient surgery that’s done to widen the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord. When your orthopedic surgeon prescribes a hemilaminectomy, they are suggesting a laminectomy but only on one side. Having a hemilaminectomy discectomy can relieve the pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing in your back, neck, arms, and legs. If you think you’d be a good candidate for this type of surgery, the following information can help you make that decision and find the right surgeon for you.

Downtown Pain Physicians NYC is here to help you find relief from all kinds of spinal pain. We’ll carefully listen to your symptoms and work with you to develop the best course of treatment.

When Do I Need Hemilaminectomy Surgery

Laminectomies are quite common procedures today and can be done in a minimally invasive way and, in best case scenarios, as an outpatient procedure. The goal is to determine where the lamina has thickened and is causing compression, then to open or remove the lamina to free the nerves so they can work optimally.

With Downtown Pain Physicians, you’ll receive a thorough examination and diagnostic testing to determine what your specific diagnosis is. When a diagnosis is determined, your treatment plan will begin with conservative care until you find a solution to your pain and limitations. In some of the following situations, a hemilaminectomy may be the best solution.

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Bone spurs
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Enlarged facet joints
  • Spinal compression

If you’re experiencing weakness, pain, numbness, tingling, poor balance, clumsiness, stiffness, and/or difficulty walking, then you might benefit from a hemilaminectomy.

Types of Hemilaminectomy

Hemilaminectomy SurgeryThe goal and approach of all hemilaminectomy surgeries is basically the same, but there are some different types of surgeries and they’re often related to where the surgery will be performed on the spine. The types of laminectomy and hemilaminectomy procedures include:

Cervical hemilaminectomy. Your cervical region is your neck and a hemilaminectomy in that region will address vertebra of the neck region.

Thoracic hemilaminectomy. If you’re having an impingement or compression in your thoracic spine, or mid back region, then a thoracic hemilaminectomy might be the best option.

Lumbar Hemilaminectomy. When the low back region is where you’re experiencing pain then you may benefit from this surgery here, you might even be advised to have a lumbar hemilaminectomy discectomy to relieve your low back pain.

Sacral Hemilaminectomy. Reaching even lower into the spine, the sacrum is located between your pelvic bones.

Approaches to Hemilaminectomy Surgery

In addition to there being different types of surgeries, there are two different approaches to a hemilaminectomy that might be used. A microlaminectomy or an open surgery, the type of surgery you have will affect the entire process.

Microlaminectomy. A hemilaminectomy microdiscectomy surgery or microlaminectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using small incisions and an arthroscope for viewing the operative area. This is used for less complicated surgeries as it involves a faster recovery with less pain.

Open surgery. All back hemilaminectomies were open surgeries in the past, today this type of surgery is not used if a microlaminectomy is possible, but in some severe cases with many affected vertebrae, an open surgery is the best option. This involves a larger incision and allows the surgeon to see the areas in question directly. There is a larger incision, more recovery time, and the surgery is more invasive but when it’s the best option it’s safer and more effective.

What to Expect During Decompressive Hemilaminectomy Surgery

No matter what type of hemilaminectomy surgery is recommended, there are a few steps that everyone can plan on before, during, and after their surgery. Of course, your surgery will be customized to your pain level, your activity levels, your diagnosis, and other contributing factors. Your surgical team will be able to answer your questions specifically, so you know what to expect.

  • You will have pre-operative instructions for the day and night before your surgery that involve not eating foods and possibly not taking some medications. You’ll also have to prepare for your return home, which may require assistance from another person
  • On the morning of your surgery, you’ll speak with a preoperative team that will make sure you’re ready for your procedure and answer any of your questions
  • You will meet with the anesthesiologist who will chat with you before administering the anesthesia, they will then stay with you throughout the procedure to monitor your vital statistics
  • Your area of surgery will be prepared, and your surgeon will make one or a few incisions, depending on the approach to surgery that is being used. Muscles and tissue will be moved from the region and held out of the way until surgery is complete
  • Small instruments and the arthroscope will be used to find the appropriate area and access the site
  • Your surgeon will remove the lamina on one side of your spine
  • Additional procedures may be performed including removal of bone growths, discs, and if you’re having a fusion, it will be performed at this time, too
  • Once the surgical team is satisfied with the removal and the results, your incision will be closed from the inside out for minimal scarring
  • Your wounds will be dressed, and you’ll be moved to a recovery area

Some people are able to go home the same day of their surgery and others will require a hospital stay. This will greatly affect your next steps but everyone having a hemilaminectomy surgery should prepare for some assistance and restrictions after surgery. There will also be an element of physical therapy. All of this is done to ease you into normal daily living while giving your surgical site and your spine time to heal properly. Following instructions specified for you is the best way to achieve great results.

Meet Your Surgeon

Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, MDDowntown Pain Physicians has one of the best orthopedic surgeons on staff, ready to help you start the recovery process. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo is an expert in spinal surgery, giving his patients the best care available with a focus on your long-term goals and customizing a treatment program that goes beyond surgery and incorporates after-care so you can get back to enjoying life to the fullest and participating in the activities you love.

Dr. Okubadejo is an outstanding resource for our medical group, bringing a well-rounded education and award-winning ideas to our patients. His approach to surgical options is geared toward creating best case scenarios where pain and recovery time is minimized with exceptional outcomes.

  • ★★★★★

    “THE BEST!”

    The specialist I saw was very informative, helpful and understanding to my situation. He gave me the proper answers I needed to make a informed decision. We recommend him to everyone. Dr. Okubadejo is the best.

  • ★★★★★


    The doctor was very thorough in explaining what my issues were and what my options for treatment were.

Book Your Appointment Now at Downtown Pain Physicians NYC

If you’re suffering with neck pain, back pain or any spinal injury, it’s time to schedule an appointment and begin healing. There’s no reason to put it off any longer, in fact, the sooner you begin care, the easier it is for your body to recover.


At Downtown Pain Physicians NYC, we often treat busy professionals. Our Downtown and Lower Manhattan area locations makes it convenient for people who live and work near the Lower East Side, Tribeca, Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Soho, Chelsea, East Village, Murray Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and surrounding areas to stop in for a consultation and appointments.

In our office, you’ll find a welcoming space that puts your comfort first. From the moment you step in the door, our staff will work to accommodate your needs and get you in to see the doctor with little wait time. We’ve invested in the best state-of-the art diagnostic tools available to give you the most accurate care and a targeted treatment plan that works. Having the latest and the best technology from the beginning to the end of your care in our office leads to a faster recovery with less setbacks along the way. We also put a lot of stock in our entire staff, making sure that we have top-rated patient care specialists who are leaders in their field. Your health care is our priority.

Connect with our office today to schedule an appointment and begin the healing process.

Page Updated on Jan 13, 2022 by Dr. Raj Raval, MD (Pain Management Doctor) of Downtown Pain Physicians Of Brooklyn
  • Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.

    1. Board Certified
    2. Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
  • Education & training

    1. SUNY Health Science Center
    2. Rutgers University Fellowship
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  • Dr. Raphael Jaramillo, MD

    1. Board Certified
    2. Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
  • Education & training

    1. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
    2. New York University
    3. Rutgers University
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