Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive surgeries use state of the art technology and specialized tools to minimize tissue damage, reduce pain, limit scarring, and enable faster recoveries. A common type of minimally invasive surgery is laparoscopic surgery, where small instruments guided by a telescope are passed through the body wall.
What is it?
As medical technology continues to improve, more surgeries are being performed using the minimally invasive method. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) can reduce many risks normally taken when undergoing conventional open surgery. MIS can reduce the rate of infection, improve surgical precision, decrease the length of hospital stay, and reduce recovery time. This is because MIS only requires a few small incisions to be made, using long, flexible tools to navigate inside the body. MIS can be performed on any area of the body, but many common surgeries involve the chest cavity, abdomen, or GI tract. Using MIS techniques, surgeons no longer require large incisions to be made across the body in order to access the internal tissues. It should be noted, however, that children may not always be suitable for MIS due to their small size. Consult a doctor about whether MIS is the right choice for younger patients.
What should I do to prepare?
In the weeks preceding surgery, the patient should stop taking blood thinners, supplemental vitamins, and be limited to exposure of second-hand smoke. Any pre-surgery lab work should be completed. As with many surgeries, you will be requested not to eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. A laxative may also be given the day before to help clean out the bowels. Before surgery, an anesthesiologist may consult you about pain medication during the surgery as well as pain management afterward.
What happens during the process?
Depending on the kind of surgery, the patient may either be under general anesthesia for the procedure or just receive a local anesthetic. In laparoscopic or robotic surgery, two of the common types of MIS, the patient will lie in a position that gives the surgeon adequate mobility and access to the internal organs. After making small incisions in the skin (typically two or three), the surgeon will use a camera and/or imaging techniques to map the inside of the patient’s body. Many of the tools used in MIS are long, thin tubes tipped with precise instruments. These will be used to perform whatever surgery is necessary inside the patient. Following the surgery, the wounds are sutured and bandaged.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Some associated risks and complications include, but are not limited to, anesthetic complications, excessive bleeding and infection, blood clots, allergic reactions, persistent and unresolved pain, nerve injury, hypothermia (usually in smaller patients), and damage to surrounding tissue
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