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Asian Spine J. 2019 Apr;13(2):334-342. doi: 10.31616/asj.2018.0210. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Biportal Endoscopic Spinal Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Andong Medical Group Hospital, Andong, Korea.
Barun Hospital, Jinju, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CM General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Spine Center, Himnaera Hospital, Busan, Korea.


Biportal endoscopic spinal surgery (BESS) is a minimally invasive spinal surgery, which is basically similar to microscopic spinal surgery in terms of the use of floating technique and technically similar to conventional percutaneous endoscopic spinal surgery in terms of the use of endoscopic or arthroscopic instruments. Using two independent portals (viewing and working) and maintaining a certain distance from the bony and neural structures allow closer access to the target lesion through a panoramic view by free handling of the scope and instruments rather than through a fixed view by docking into the Kambin's triangle. Minimally invasive surgery allows for reduced dissection and inevitable muscle injury, preserving stability and reducing risks of restabilization. The purpose of fusion surgery is the same as that of the three surgical techniques stated above. Its wider range of view helps to overcome limitations of conventional endoscopic spinal surgery and to supplement the weak points of microscopic spinal surgery, such as limited working space in a tubular retractor and difficulty in accessing the contralateral area. This technique provides an alternative to unilateral or bilateral decompression of lumbar central spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, low-grade spondylolisthesis, and adjacent segment degeneration. Early clinical outcomes are promising despite potential for complications, such as dural tearing and postoperative epidural hematoma, similar to other procedures. Merits of BESS include decreased postoperative infection rate due to continuous irrigation throughout the procedure and decreased need for fusion surgery for one- or two-level lumbar stenosis by wide sublaminar and foraminal decompression with minimal sacrifice of stabilizing structures.


Arthroscopy; Endoscopy; Minimal invasive surger; Spinal stenosis

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