Surgeons in the Quad Cities are the first in the state to perform a new sort of back surgery using laser technology. Dr. Kevin Wilson, medical director of the Genesis Pain Center in Bettendorf, estimates about 80-percent of all people will have back pain at some point in their lives, with about half of them having a degenerative disc problem. They may be candidates for what’s called a percutaneous laser discectomy , which was first performed Wednesday (May 28th) at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport.The procedure is done through the skin. A small endoscope is put into the disc, then the laser vaporizes bulges on herniated discs, relieving pressure on the nerve and decreasing the pain. The patient stays awake and the whole thing’s over in about 45 minutes. Dr. Wilson says it’s amazing technology.A high-powered laser focuses its energy within half a millimeter. Dr. Wilson says pain relief is often immediate, and instead of two days in the hospital and eight weeks to recover, this procedure is done outpatient and recipients are back at work in a few days.