What is the MAS TLIF?

The Maximum Access Surgery transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MAS TLIF) procedure is a technique that attempts to eliminate instability in your back through a less invasive approach to fuse one or more vertebrae together to reduce their motion.

During the MAS TLIF procedure, the surgeon starts off to one side of the back and splits (rather than cuts) the back muscles in one direction, instead of using the traditional approach of spreading the muscles to the sides. This less invasive approach may result in less muscle injury, less postoperative pain, and a quicker recovery.

Download the MAS® TLIF patient education brochure to learn more about this procedure and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Is MAS TLIF right for me?

If your doctor has determined you need a spinal fusion at any lumbar level between L1 and S1, they may recommend MAS TLIF as a less disruptive approach.

However, your doctor may also determine MAS TLIF is not the best option for your specific circumstances. It is important to discuss all options with your doctor to find the most effective course of treatment.

What are the potential benefits of the MAS TLIF procedure?
Compared to a traditional surgery, the benefits are:

  • Less muscle injury
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced blood loss and minimal scarring
  • Reduced hospital stay
  • Faster postoperative recovery time

Are there risks involved?

Keep in mind that all surgical procedures present risks and complications that are important to discuss with your surgeon prior to your procedure. Listening to your physician’s guidance, both before and after surgery, will help to ensure the best possible outcome from your procedure.

Potential risks following MAS TLIF surgery include: problems with anesthesia, infection, nerve damage, problems with the graft or hardware, and ongoing pain. This is not intended to be a complete list of the possible complications. Please contact your doctor to discuss all potential risks.

I have more questions, who can I ask?

In addition to consulting with your physician and medical teams, it often helps to speak to someone who has been through the procedure.  To connect with a Patient Ambassador who has already had a MAS TLIF, please complete our request form.

While this website provides information about many different non-surgical and surgical options, it is not meant to replace any personal conversations that you should have with your physician or other member of your healthcare team.

Not all the information here will apply to your individual treatment or its outcome. The information is intended to answer some of your questions and serve as a guideline for you to ask your healthcare team appropriate questions about the procedure.