What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgical techniques, commonly
referred to as keyhole techniques, belly-button
surgery, or laparoscopy, were aggressively developed
in the 1990s. Using these techniques, surgeons
can diagnose or treat patients, and in some cases
remove or repair a part of the body, without performing
a major incision during surgery. In fact, they
are able to operate through much smaller incisions
than ever before.
Traditional abdominal surgery requires a large
incision in the abdomen to divide skin and muscle
in order to provide the surgeon with a direct
view of the body's interior. Using minimally
invasive surgery, the surgeon makes several
small incisions or uses one of the body's natural
openings to insert several long, thin tubes
A special needle with carbon dioxide
gas is inserted to inflate the body's interior
and provide the surgeon with room to operate.
The surgeon inserts specialized instruments
through the canulas to operate on the body's
internal region. A tiny camera transmits an
image of the body's interior to a video screen.
This powerful imaging technology enables surgeons
to reach their intended area within the body
quickly and precisely.
In comparison to traditional surgery, minimally
invasive surgery has the following advantages:
- Less trauma to the body
- Reduced post-operative pain
- Enhanced cosmetic effect (smaller scars)
- Reduced length of stay in hospital (usually
same-day surgery or one night in the hospital)
- Reduced post-surgical recovery and quicker
return to normal activities, including work.
For more information, see the Society
of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons.