Laparoscopic surgery, which may also be referred to as endoscopic surgery, is one of the fastest-growing areas in surgical medicine. With the use of special equipment outfitted with a tiny camera, surgeons are able to operate using smaller incisions.
For our patients, smaller incisions mean less time in the hospital after surgery, a faster recovery and return to normal activities, and less scarring or even no scarring at all.
Generally, incisions in minimally invasive surgery are only one-half to three-quarters of an inch long - much shorter than the six to eight inches with "open" surgery. The camera, maneuvered through a small incision, allows the physician to view the equipment's internal position and movements on a TV monitor.
The major advantage with minimally invasive surgery is that the surgeon doesn't have to cut through as much healthy tissue and muscle. This means there is less need for postoperative pain medication and an earlier return to physical activity and a normal diet. And shorter time spent in bed also means fewer postoperative pulmonary and gastrointestinal complications and stronger blood circulation.
On the Cutting Edge
Holy Cross Hospital was the first hospital in Montgomery County to offer da Vinci robotic surgery. Robotic surgery uses small instruments and a camera in much the same way as laparoscopic surgery, but instead of the surgeon holding the instruments, robot arms hold them. Using da Vinci, surgeons can undertake even more radical procedures in a way that creates much less tissue trauma.
The next time you find yourself facing surgery, ask your physician if a minimally invasive option is right for you.