In contrast to open back surgery, spinal microsurgery allows a surgeon visual access to the spine and its structures through an incision approximately 1.5inches across. The back muscles may still be stretched slightly on the side of the herniation or osteophyte growth. The surgeon will pass a small microscope through the incision in the back to allow them to see the site of the nerve compression. After removal of the herniated portion of disc the surgeon will retract the instrumentation and suture the incision closed. Muscle, ligament, and bone disruption are minimized in this type of surgery though, which improves patient outcome, speeds up recovery, and reduces complications. Patients can undergo the procedure under local anaesthetic, which reduces the risks of thrombophlebitis, and they can be up and mobile within a matter of hours of the operation before returning home either that day or the next.