In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications
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. In some cases, such as minimally invasive colon surgery, a slightly larger incision may be needed. But with others, like minimally invasive hemorrhoid procedures, no incisions or trocars are necessary.
There are some advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be performed almost exclusively through a single point of entry – meaning only one small incision. This is called Single Site Laparoscopy, and is another approach to performing traditional laparoscopic surgery using the same tools.
Are you a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure?
These kinds of procedures are not for everyone and only your doctor can determine if a minimally invasive surgery is right for you. These procedures have been proven to be as effective as those of conventional surgery. And more than 20 million Americans have had them.
Potential benefits of minimally invasive procedures
Not only do these procedures usually provide equivalent outcomes to traditional “open” surgery (which sometimes require a large incision), but minimally invasive procedures (using small incisions) may offer significant benefits as well:
- 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