What is a laminectomy and discectomy?
A laminectomy is a surgery which removes the lamina (spongy tissue found between the spinal disks) in order to relieve pain caused by a neural impingement often due to spinal stenosis. The removal of a part of or an entire injured disk is referred to as a discectomy.

How do the procedures work?
For both laminectomy surgery and discectomy surgery you will be placed under general anaesthetic and will be intubated. Your surgeon will make an incision on your back over the affected area of your spine. Your spine will be exposed by pulling the muscles and soft tissue away from the spine. Your surgeon will then work to cut away any parts of bone or ligaments that are affecting the nerves. The amount of bone removed will depend on the extent of the neural impingement. Your surgeon may also recommend other surgeries that will be performed alongside the laminectomy or discectomy, including spinal fusion, inserting implants to help stabilise the bones, the removal of a disk or additional bone removal. Metal staples or stitches will be used to close your incision. You will be required to stay in hospital for monitoring for a period of one to three days, depending on the speed of your recovery.


I am a qualified neurosurgeon following my pre- and postgraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch and currently have private practices at Netcare N1 City, which caters for the northern suburbs of Cape Town and Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, which caters for the west coast of Cape Town and Western Cape.


Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital
Tel: +27 (0)21 554 0779 / Fax: +27 (0)21 554 2144

Netcare N1 City Hospital
Tel: 021 595 4633 / Fax: 086 684 8004