Doctors are always answering questions of how can we advance surgery to improve your experience as a patient? More specifically, how can your recovery be faster? Lastly, can there be less scarring and less pain after your operation?
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 a gall bladder. 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.
Since that time, minimally invasive procedures have been changing the way people think about surgery. While we understand many factors go into making the right decision, patients who choose these innovative procedures over conventional surgery usually have shorter hospital stays and a quicker recovery. Along with a quicker recovery, patients often experience less post-operative pain and less scar tissue formation.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons will make several 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 benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgery can include:
- Small incisions
- Less pain
- Low risk of infection
- Shortened hospital stay
- Quick recovery time
- Less scarring
- Reduced blood loss
Fortunately, advances in medical science and constant evolving technology have made it possible for patients to undergo many types of minimally invasive surgery. Doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body compared to open surgery, some of which include:
To learn more about minimally invasive surgery, call Dr. Bill Hefley at (800) 336-2412 to request an appointment.