A new method has been developed for percutaneously decompressing herniated lumbar disks. The method entails gaining access to the disk space through the use of an introduction system and a cannula. A 2-mm aspiration probe called a Nucleotome is then placed through the cannula into the disk space, and the nucleus pulposus is aspirated. Thirty-six patients have undergone the procedure, with a successful result in 31. There were no significant complications encountered, and the procedure is now being done on an outpatient basis. These preliminary results indicate that automated percutaneous diskectomy has the potential to replace laminectomy in the treatment of uncomplicated herniated disks.