Radiation Exposure to Surgeon & Patients in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Review of Bindal RK, et al.: Radiation exposure to the patient and surgeon in minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Journal of Neurosurgery Spine 9:570-573, 2008.


This study is a review of radiation exposure to patients and the surgeon in minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery.  The journal the study was published in, the Journal of Neurosurgery, is widely accepted along with Neurosurgery as the top Neurosurgical journal in the world.  The study was performed by Dr. Rajesh K. Bindal at the Texas Spine & Neurosurgery Center.  It is the first study of its kind ever done for this kind of minimally invasive spinal surgery.  The study carefully measures and analyzes radiation exposure using direct measurement and complex radiation physics calculations.  X-rays are used during this surgery to visualize patient structures.  Evaluating radiation exposure is important for safety analysis.  All patients in the study were operated on directly by Dr. Bindal

Radiation exposure to the patient was low.  The exposure was much lower than in other safe procedures such as cardiac catheterization and cerebral angiography.  Surgeon exposure was also limited.  However, we determined that changing the type of lead shielding used would reduce the exposure to the surgeon.  This would improve the safety of the procedure.

The study demonstrated the safely of minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgery.  The overall radiation exposure from x-rays was low.  Patient exposure was well within safe parameters.  Making a change to the type of lead shielding used could make the procedure even safer, however.  The surgeons at the Texas Spine and Neurosurgery Center are experts in minimally invasive spinal surgery.  We have innovated many advances in the field, as can be seen in the present study.  Safety is our primary consideration.  Our research demonstrates that we are national leaders in the field of minimally invasive spinal surgery, including laminectomy, discectomy, and treatment for spinal stenosis.  Our innovations are helping make surgery safer for the patient.


By Rajesh K. Bindal, M.D.