Minimally invasive operating techniques have had a tremendous impact on surgery since the 1990s. This advancement in surgical technique is leading to an improvement in the quality of life for patients undergoing surgical treatments. In minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use a variety of techniques to operate with less injury to the body than with open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis or requires only a short hospital stay.
Minimally invasive procedures, which include laparoscopic surgery, use state-of-the-art technology to reduce the damage to human tissue when performing surgery. For example, in most procedures, a surgeon makes several small ¾ inch incisions and inserts thin tubes called trocars. Carbon dioxide gas may be used to inflate the area, creating a space between the internal organs and the skin. Then a miniature camera (usually a laparoscope or endoscope) is placed through one of the trocars so the surgical team can view the procedure as a magnified image on video monitors in the operating room. Then, specialized instruments are placed through the other trocars to perform the procedures.
Minimally invasive surgeries have now become the standard surgical techniques in many routine operations, such as cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), appendectomy (removal of the appendix), abdominal explorations, some gynecological surgeries and hernia repair.
The advantages of minimally invasive operating techniques are:
- Less pain
- Faster recovery after an operation
- Less major bleeding
- Fewer post-op infections
- Fewer complications
- Shorter length of stay
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Quicker return to work
- Less scarring
- Comparable or lower cost
There are some advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be performed almost exclusively through only one small incision. This is called Single Site Laparoscopy, and is another approach to performing traditional laparoscopic surgery using the same tools.
These kinds of procedures are not for everyone, and only a doctor can determine if a minimally invasive surgery is right for you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda to find out what surgical options are right for you.