What is minimally invasive surgery?
Having surgery is a big deal, but with minimally invasive surgery, that big deal just got smaller! How you ask? Well with minimally invasive surgery, there are no huge scars; we’re not talking an open procedure.
Most minimally invasive surgery is accomplished via laparoscopic means which uses thin instruments and a video camera placed into the incision so the surgeon can see what’s going on in there. Another form of minimally invasive surgery is robotic surgery. Robotic instruments are placed into the body and connected to a console controlled by your surgeon who views everything on a screen. A third type of minimally invasive surgery is GYN/Pelvic surgery for surgeries like hysterectomy, endometriosis and uterine fibroid removal.
What makes minimally invasive surgery more desirable than conventional surgery?
There are several reasons why minimally invasive surgery can be more desirable than conventional or open surgery.
- little or minimal scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Lower complication rates
- Less blood loss
- Smaller hospital stays
- Little or no pain
For any type of minimally invasive surgery, the incisions are very small because the instruments are thin and small. The incisions are just big enough to allow the instruments access. No one’s hands are inside you. The instruments themselves are the only things that enter your body along with the camera. If you need internal stitching this can be accomplished as well. Robotic instruments are very accurate.
Without being opened up, there is definitely less blood loss. When you think about an incision that you can cover with some surgical tape or one-two stitches versus open surgery that may require many stitches, there is less upset to the body and less trauma. This of course goes hand in hand with a shorter recovery period. Laparoscopic incisions are tiny and you barely know they are there but a conventional incision does not go unnoticed.
Does it hurt?
There is minimal pain if any. Perhaps you will feel itching as your body begins to heal after the surgery. Minimally invasive surgery really is a wonderful solution that leaves you feeling better in no time. Conventional surgery recovery has a slightly different feel and it’s important to discuss that an all aspects of surgery with your physician. In any event, our surgeon, nurses and other care takers will all see to your comfort so there should be no fear of pain.
What is my recovery time/hospital stay?
Recovery time varies by surgical procedure and should be discussed with your physician. There is definitely less recovery time with minimally invasive surgery. Again, everything depends on the person and the procedure, but some people even go home the same day. Follow all instructions of your physician and surgeon and you too can expect a quick recovery and a short hospital stay.
Now that you’ve got the basics for minimally invasive surgery, you can discuss these items further with your care takers, physicians and surgeons. Know your options and make the best decision for you and your future.