Neurosurgical Associates PC
800 St. Vincent's Drive Suite 700
Birmingham, AL 35205

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The VariLift® System System stabilizes the spine like a traditional fusion, but with the benefits of a less invasive surgery.

Most spine procedures require the use of rods and screws. The VariLift System can be used without rods or screws. This makes it a less invasive option for spine surgery.

Your surgeon will recommend the surgical treatment that is best for you. Other factors, such as obesity and smoking, may impact your results.

Am I a good candidate for VariLift?

VariLift is a good option for patients with a variety of lower back conditions, including herniated disc. Your surgeon will help you decide if VariLift is the best choice for you.

How does VariLift work?

First, your surgeon implants a device into the disc space. The device expands to fill the disc space and is packed with bone material to promote fusion.

How is VariLift different from other options?

Most spinal fusions use a rod-and-screw system. The VariLift system offers a less invasive option that uses less hardware.

What is the device made of?

The VariLift device is made of titanium. Titanium is widely used in the medical field, and is well known for its optimal material properties.

Can the VariLift device be removed?

Yes. If necessary, your surgeon can remove the device.

Do you have to take bone from my hip?

No. The VariLift device needs bone material to create fusion, but there are options that do not require taking bone from your body. Your surgeon will determine the best option for you.

How do you put the device in?

Surgeons implant VariLift devices using a special insertion tool. Once in place, the device is expanded using an expander tool, allowing the implant to fill the disc space and lock into place.

What should I expect after surgery?

Post-operative procedures vary. In most cases, you will be transferred to a recovery room right after your procedure. You will be moved into a hospital room when you are stable. You will spend most of the day resting.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Length of required hospital stay varies depending on your needs. Since the VariLift system is minimally invasive, patients may have shorter hospital stays compared to other spinal procedures.

Will I be in pain after surgery?

After the surgery, most patients feel a dramatic decrease in back pain. You will likely have pain at the incision site. Your surgeon will provide pain medication as needed.

When can I go back to work?

Recovery time varies. Patients can often return to desk work within 2-3 weeks. Jobs requiring lifting, stooping, and bending need a longer recovery time. Your surgeon will determine when you can safely return to work.

What are the risks of spinal fusion procedures?

As with all procedures, there are risks. Some risks include:

  • Infection
  • Headaches caused by spinal fluid leak
  • Fusion failure
  • Decrease in function of your spine, muscles or nerves
  • How effective is the VariLift system?

    Over 28,000 VariLift devices have been implanted to date. Studies show 94% of patients have significant pain reduction. For more information, visit the Patients and Caregivers section of Wenzel Spine’s website at