Anytime the name of an operation ends with otomy, it refers to the removal of something. In this case, the surgeon removes any disc material that may be pressing on the nerve. The opening in the bone may also be enlarged by shaving or cutting away bone around the nerve.
The procedure can be done from the back of the neck. A tiny incision is made. The small incision makes this a minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The muscle is then peeled away so that the surgeon can see the bone underneath. A small hole is cut into the vertebra itself. The foramen can be seen through this hole. The bone or disc material that is pressing on the nerve can be removed.
The operation is usually very successful. Long-term studies report good-to-excellent results for up to 96 per cent of the patients. Your father can expect pain relief and return to normal activity and work status.