Surgery can be a stressful proposition for anyone. When it comes to minimally invasive surgery, there are some surprising facts that can help give you peace of mind as you prepare for your procedure.
Minimally invasive surgery is a relatively new type of surgery that began to make strides in the mid-1980s. Smaller incisions are used than in other forms of surgery, helping to reduce the risk of blood loss, pain, and infection. More recently, robotically-assisted surgery has been utilized with very positive results.
1. Minimally Invasive Surgery Is Relatively New
Minimally invasive surgery has its roots in the early 1800s but started to become more common as a diagnostic tool in the 1930s and 1940s. The surgical method really started to become popular in the mid-1980s due to advances in camera and video technology. This provided surgeons with enough anatomic detail to perform increasingly complex procedures.
The introduction of solid-state cameras and high-definition video allowed surgeons to see what they were doing on a video screen rather than with their own two eyes. This is thanks to a tool known as the laparoscope, which is essential for minimally invasive surgery.
Laparoscopes are small surgical tools that use fiber optics, light, and a high-definition camera. The light allows the camera to get a clear view of its surroundings, which it then sends to a video monitor to be viewed by your medical team. This allows your surgeon to work in real-time and work with the same level of precision as other forms of surgery.
2. Minimally Invasive Surgery Uses Smaller Incisions
To understand what we mean by “smaller,” it helps to understand open surgery and how it compares to minimally invasive surgery. Open surgery is probably what most people think of when they think of a surgical procedure — surgeons making a single large incision to perform complex surgical procedures.
Incisions for open surgery are usually around four inches, giving surgeons an unobstructed view of the body’s tissues and other structures. Incisions for minimally invasive surgery are much smaller with the largest being around 3 cm, or a little over an inch. Surgeons will usually make a few incisions — one for the camera and the others are for surgical instruments.
Depending on the procedure, your medical team may use carbon dioxide during minimally invasive surgery. For example, carbon dioxide is used during abdominal surgery to inflate the walls of the abdomen to give the laparoscope a better view inside the body. This gives your surgeon a better view as well as more room to operate.
3. There’s Usually Less Blood Loss From Minimally Invasive Surgery
Unlike open surgery, minimally invasive surgery considerably reduces your risk of blood loss. This is due in large part to the smaller incisions that it requires. Larger incisions increase your risk of blood loss, possibly requiring a blood transfusion. This makes minimally invasive surgery much more appealing for many patients and surgeons alike who worry about complications.
The decreased risk of blood loss does more than protect your health. It can also bring peace of mind before surgery. It’s perfectly understandable to be stressed before undergoing a surgical procedure, but knowing there’s a lower risk of certain complications can help you be less worried.
4. There’s Usually Less Pain After Minimally Invasive Surgery
While the mental stress before surgery can be difficult, the pain involved with recovery can be much harder to deal with. That’s not to mention the long-term pain medications that may be required as you heal from open surgery.
This is often not the case for minimally invasive surgery. Like with the risk of bleeding, the small incisions made during your procedure will heal much faster and with less pain than a large one from open surgery. Combine these factors with smart recovery decisions and you’ll be back on your feet much sooner than with open surgery.
5. Minimally Invasive Surgery Has a Lower Risk of Infection
Infection of the surgical site is the most common form of infection for surgical patients and is the second-most common form of infection in hospitals. While there is always the risk of infection during surgery, it is much lower when you undergo minimally invasive surgical procedures when compared with open surgery.
At Evansville Surgical Associates, our board certified surgeons are trained in the latest techniques and advancements of minimally invasive surgery. You can rest easy knowing that you’ll be receiving the highest quality of treatment with a focus on preventing complications when under our care.
Minimally invasive surgery is a relatively new surgical method that came into its own thanks to advances in camera and video technology. It requires smaller incisions than open surgery, which can help prevent blood loss, pain, and infection after a procedure. Since the year 2000, surgeons have been implementing robotics to aid with minimally invasive surgery with fantastic results.
Would you like to know more about minimally invasive surgery? Call us at (812) 424-8231 or (800) 264-8231 to get started!
Evansville Surgical Associates has been providing comprehensive and compassionate surgical care for over 50 years. Call us at (812) 424-8231 or (800) 264-8231. We are available from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm if you would like to schedule an appointment.