What is a MAS PLIF procedure?

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a surgical technique that attempts to eliminate instability in the back and pain in the lower back and lower extremities. A Maximum Access Surgery posterior lumbar interbody fusion (MAS PLIF) achieves this by using a less disruptive approach to decompress nerve roots and fuse one or more vertebrae together to reduce their motion.

The distinct difference between a traditional “open” PLIF and a MAS PLIF is the medialized surgical approach. The MAS PLIF procedure is designed to eliminate the need to retract muscle laterally, therefore requiring a smaller incision than an “open” PLIF. By minimizing the amount of muscle disruption, this procedure is intended to reduce postoperative approach-related muscle pain and enable a faster recovery for the patient.

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

Is a MAS® PLIF procedure right for me?

Your physician might determine a MAS PLIF procedure is a good option for you if you require an intervertebral fusion at any lumbar level between L1 and S1, and you would benefit from a less disruptive approach.

Conversely, your physician may determine that a MAS PLIF procedure is not a good option for you. It is important to discuss all treatment options with your physician.

What are the potential benefits of having a MAS PLIF procedure?

  • Minimal scarring
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Reduced hospital stay
  • Faster postoperative recovery time
  • Smaller incision
  • Less tissue disruption

Are there risks involved?

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

Some of the most common complications following MAS PLIF 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.
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 PLIF procedure, 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.