280px-aneurysm_endovascularIn minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications.

Laparoscopy — surgery done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny cameras and surgical instruments — was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgery. Another type of minimally invasive surgery is robotic surgery. It provides a magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site and helps the surgeon operate with precision, flexibility and control.

Continual innovations in minimally invasive surgery make it beneficial for people with a wide range of conditions. If you need surgery and think you may be a candidate for this approach, talk with your doctor.

Benefits

  • Minimally invasive surgery should have less operative trauma, other complications and adverse effects than an equivalent open surgery
  • It may be more or less expensive
  • Operative time is longer, but hospitalization time is shorter
  • It causes less pain and scarring, speeds recovery, and reduces the incidence of post-surgical complications, such as adhesions and wound dehiscence (rupture)
  • minimally invasive surgery is not necessarily minor surgery that only requires local anesthesia. In fact, most of these procedures still require general anesthesia to be administered beforehand

Risks

  • Anesthesia or medication reactions
  • Blood vessel injury
  • Vein or lung blood clotting
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Internal organ injury
  • Breathing problems