With potential benefits such as quicker recovery and less pain, minimally invasive surgery has become increasingly popular for a variety of surgical procedures. For some operations, such as gallbladder removal, it is more widely used than conventional open surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery, also called laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery, may require a few incisions of less than a half-inch each, compared with an incision of 5 to 8 inches or longer with open surgery. The surgeon inserts a scope consisting of a flexible tube with a camera and light attached into one of the incisions. Images are sent to a screen, which the surgeon watches while performing the surgery using a tool or tools inserted through one or more of the other incisions.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery
Not all surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. Major cancer, heart or other surgeries may require a more open surgical field. In some instances – even if a laparoscopic procedure is performed routinely – a physician may determine that a particular patient is not a good candidate based on his or her overall health or condition.
However, when laparoscopic surgery is determined to be a good option, it may offer the following benefits over open surgery:
- Shorter recovery time. Since small incisions usually heal faster than large ones, some surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis. Surgical patients who are admitted to the hospital may be released sooner and return to their regular activities faster.
- Less Pain. Small incisions generally mean less post-operative pain.
- Lower risk of infection. Smaller wounds are generally at less risk of infection.
- Less blood loss. The tiny incision involved in minimally invasive surgery usually results in less blood loss than would be experienced with open surgery.
- Less scarring. This can be a significant consideration for some patients.
Baptist Beaumont Hospital offers a wider range of minimally invasive surgical options with the NuBoom Surgical System. This FDA-approved robotic and computer-assisted surgical system allows physicians to perform minimally invasive surgeries with unsurpassed precision, range of motion and control. With NuBoom procedures, a camera and surgical instruments attached to a robotic arm is inserted through several tiny incisions. The surgeon sits at a console and views greatly magnified 3D images transmitted by the camera inside the patient. The surgeon’s hand, wrist and finder movements are transmitted to the instruments.