Surgical procedures are considered minimally invasive if they are performed through small incisions instead of large ones. Minimally invasive surgery is becoming more common because of their many benefits, including less discomfort and faster recovery times for patients. In many hospitals, minimally invasive procedures are done whenever possible.
Minimally invasive surgery makes use of specially-designed equipment, some of which are made up of miniature cable assemblies. Because incisions are small, a cable manufacturer must supply miniature medical cables to fit minimally invasive devices. These devices are used in a variety of procedures, including endoscopy and laparoscopy.
What are the kinds of minimally invasive procedures?
The type of procedure to be done would depend on the patient’s condition; some surgeries may not be suitable for every patient. Among the procedures that can be done through minimally invasive methods are the following:
- Ear, nose, and throat surgery
- Gynecologic surgery
- Nephrectomy, or kidney removal
- Gallbladder surgery
- Colectomy, or removing parts of a diseased colon
- Adrenalectomy, or removal of the adrenal glands
- Anti-reflux surgery to relieve gastroesopageal reflux disease
- Thoracic surgery
- Endovascular surgery to repair an aneurysm
What happens in minimally invasive surgery?
In minimally invasive surgery, surgeons make several incisions in the patient’s skin. The number of incisions would depend on the type of surgery to be done. Each incision is only about half an inch long at the most. An endoscope—a long, thin tube with a tiny camera at the end—is inserted in the incision. A video feed of the endoscope is shown in monitors so the surgeons can see the surgical area clearly. The other necessary surgical instruments are passed through the other incisions.
Doctors may recommend a patient to undergo a minimally invasive surgery first so that they could see the problem area up close. In some cases, surgeons may have to change the procedure to an open surgery, especially if the problem cannot be addressed by minimally invasive means and requires a conventional approach.
What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery?
There are many benefits minimally invasive surgery has over traditional or conventional surgery. Because the incisions are considerably smaller, patients experience less post-operative pain and discomfort during the recovery period. Pain reliever intake would also be lessened.
Another benefit minimally invasive surgical procedures give is less injury to the body’s tissues. The larger incisions made in traditional surgeries usually have to be made through muscle, which needs a lot of time to heal. If incisions are smaller, surgeons will not have to cut through muscles in order to conduct and complete a procedure.
Because incisions are smaller and there is less tissue or muscle damage, patients are also quicker to recover, which means less time in the hospital. Patients are able to go home and resume their normal activities sooner, such as school and work. The smaller incisions also result in less noticeable scars. Compared to scars that form after open surgery, scars from minimally invasive surgeries also have less jagged edges.
One of the best benefits offered by minimally invasive procedures is a higher accuracy rate, thanks to the use of the endoscope. Because of the use of video-assisted equipment that can magnify the surgery area, surgeons are able to visualize the internal organs and anatomical structure of patients better, so they can perform the procedure with greater accuracy.