Minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery have grown in popularity over the past 20 years. Today, surgeons are increasingly performing these procedures to treat a wide array of complex conditions once traditionally reserved for more open or invasive surgeries.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery are significant for patients compared to traditional open surgery. These benefits include:
- Decreased pain
- Reduced scarring
- Low risk of infection
- Less blood loss
- Short hospital stay
- Faster and safer return to work
Minimally invasive surgery owes its origins to gynecologists who used it for diagnostic purposes in the 1960’s. As clinical experience progressed and laparoscopic surgical tools evolved, surgeons began to perform more complex operations.
At the end of the 1980’s, general surgeons started adopting laparoscopic methods, and today, minimally invasive treatments are performed for many conditions. Examples include:
What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery and How Does It Work?
Generally regarded as safer than traditional open surgery, the methods used in minimally invasive surgery allow your surgeon to limit the size and number of incisions needed during any given procedure.
During open surgery, the surgeon makes a single large incision to view the entire area of the body being operated on. By contrast, during minimally invasive surgery, specialized tiny devices, cameras, and lights that fit through small cuts in the skin allow the surgeon to perform the procedure without impacting the surrounding skin and muscles.
Minimally invasive procedures can also be performed using robotic technology that allows increased control and precision during surgery.
Recovery time for each patient varies depending on the type of disease, medical history, and lifestyle. However, after minimally invasive surgery, patients typically heal quicker, leave the hospital sooner, and recover better than with traditional open surgery.