Minimally Invasive Surgery

In traditional "open" surgery, there can be significant disruption to the body.  Large incisions are made and tissue moved to provide the doctor with an unobstructed view of the suspect tissue or organ.  Open surgery often requires extensive convalescent time and can result in significant postoperative discomfort.

Minimally invasive surgery (also known as "keyhole surgery") involves making as few disruptions to the body as possible.  Frequently, only a small incision is required, through which tiny probes, cameras, and other items are inserted.  The doctor can then perform surgical procedures on the suspect tissue or organ with minimal disruption to the rest of the body.

Minimally invasive surgery often uses a thin, telescope-like instrument called an endoscope, which is inserted through a small incision. The endoscope is connected to a tiny video camera smaller than a dime which projects a view of the targeted tissue or organ onto video monitors in the operating room. Additional small incisions might be made near the endoscope through which the surgeon inserts specialized surgical instruments. The surgeon manipulates these instruments to perform the operation.

These minimally invasive alternatives usually result in less pain, scarring and recovery time for the patient, as well as reduced health-care costs.  In comparison to open surgery, there exist several advantages for the patient:

  • less pain
  • faster recovery
  • small scars (aesthetics)
  • shorter recoveries

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Last modified: 07/27/08