How is a Vertebral Column Resection Performed?
A vertebral column resection is performed under general
anesthesia, which means the patient is asleep or unconscious, on a breathing
machine (ventilator) and is face-down on the operating room table.
Here is one of our spine nurses demonstrating how someone is
positioned in the OR.
Spinal cord monitoring of the sensory tracts (e.g. light
touch) and motor tracts (muscle control) are used throughout the procedure to
help ensure the safety of the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is monitored electrically, and the signals are like an
EKG (electrocardiogram) of the heart.
The surgical approach almost always only posterior (from the
back) only. A skin incision is make and then back of the vertebral column is
Pedicle screws are placed from the back and into the body of
Radiographs, or x-rays, confirm the appropriate placement of
the screws into the spine.
The screws will later be connected together with rods to
help stabilize the spine.
All the above steps are necessary before a VCR is done.
The next blog post will show how a VCR is completed.