Minimally Invasive Surgery | Better for Patients, Better for Surgeons
Traditional “open” surgery, where a surgeon operates with handheld instruments through a large incision (cut), may be the first method that comes to mind when you think about surgery. However, you could also be a candidate for less invasive approaches requiring just a few small incisions. These approaches are called minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery is a specialized technique for performing surgery. Laparoscopic surgery uses several 0.5-1 cm incisions called “ports”. At each port a tubular instrument known as a trochar is inserted. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a working space for the surgeon. Specialized instruments and a camera known as a laparoscope are passed through the trochars during the procedure. The laparoscope transmits images from the abdominal cavity to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room. During the operation the surgeon watches detailed images of the abdomen on the monitor. This system allows the surgeon to perform the same operations as traditional surgery but with smaller incisions.
There are many benefits to minimally invasive surgery. In addition to smaller scars, patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery have a lower risk of surgical site infections and other postoperative complications. The hospital stay after minimally-invasive surgery is typically shorter than for open surgery, and patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery generally have more rapid recovery, less pain and a quicker return to work and other activities.
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