The anterior retroperitoneal approach is mainly used for degenerative lumbar spine discal pathologies L4-L5-S1.
It usually is under general anaesthetic.
It involves a cutaneous incision in the abdomen.
There is no muscular incision. The muscle is separated to reach the vertebrae where the disc in question is located.
Placement of a mobile or fixed prosthesis depends on several factors (age, type of pathology, MRI results, etc.).
ADVANTAGES: The great advantage of this approach is that there is no need to manipulate nerves to excise hernias and discs as the prior approach.
Another advantage is that there is no need to open the muscles of the posterior part of the spine, postoperative pain is better controlled and the hospital stay is shorter compared to classic following approaches.
Usually no immediate rehabilitation is necessary.
The patient is admitted to the ICU during the first few hours immediately postoperative (in the case of afternoon surgery, during the first night). On the day following the operation the patient may initiate the sitting position and progressive walking with a standard lumbar corset (which must be worn for 2 to 6 weeks depending on the disease).
Hospital discharge is within 3-4 days following surgery provided there are no complications.