Over the past few decades, advances in medical science and innovative new technologies have made it possible for patients to undergo many types of minimally invasive surgery. Doctors can now use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body. 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 interventions – physically, financially and even psychologically.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
In 1988, after making only a 10mm incision, Dr. J. Barry McKernan inserted a miniature camera called a laparoscope into a patient’s abdomen and removed their gallbladder. The patient recovered in mere days, rather than the usual weeks or months. This was the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed in the United States, which marked the beginning of the minimally invasive movement in surgery.
During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons may need to make only 2-3 small incisions in the skin, in some cases just a few millimeters wide. A long, thin tube with a miniature camera attached at the end called an endoscope is passed through one of the incisions. Images from the endoscope are projected onto monitors in the operating room so surgeons can get a clear and magnified view of the surgical area. The other incisions are then used for the appropriate instruments needed for surgery. These instruments allow the surgeon to perform the surgery by exploring, removing, or repairing whatever’s wrong inside the body. The tools that can be used are a wonder of science in and of themselves, especially considering their benefits when compared to the classical open surgery from years past.
What are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
- Smaller incisions than traditional open surgery
- Less pain and a quicker recovery time
- Low risk of infection and other complications
- Shortened hospital stay
- Less scarring
- Reduced blood loss
If you think you might be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery call the experts of OrthoUnited at (844) 469-2663 to find out more information and to request an appointment.