Small Incisions Offer Big Benefits for Patients
Not so long ago, having surgery meant hiding a long scar. But today, most hospitals nationwide offer minimally invasive surgery that requires only tiny incisions that are virtually undetectable after the surgery.
One of the most common forms of minimally invasive surgery is known as laparoscopic surgery. With this technique, three or four very small incisions, up to 1/2” in length, are made. Through one of these incisions, the surgeon inserts a thin flexible tube with a video camera scope attached to its end. This enables the surgeon to see inside the body and view the operation on a TV monitor. Other tools are inserted into the other incisions to perform the surgery.
In hospitals across the country, surgeons now use laparoscopic techniques to perform many types of surgical procedures, including gallbladder removal, hernia repair and obesity surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is also used to treat Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, colorectal cancer and other intestinal diseases. Another minimally invasive technology is stereotactic breast biopsy. Used to determine if a lump in the breast is benign or cancerous, it’s a quicker, less costly and an almost painless alternative to a surgical biopsy.
Still, minimally invasive surgery is still surgery. So be sure to consult with your physician and surgeon to determine if this type of surgery is right for you.
The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery
1. No incisions
2. Less pain
3. Low risk of infection
4. Shorter hospital stay, usually overnight
5. Quicker recovery time and faster healing
6. Less scarring, sometimes virtually undetectable
7. Reduced blood loss 4