What is meant by Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery is becoming more and more common in hospitals. These procedures are performed through tiny incisions instead of one large opening. Because the incisions are small, patients tend to have quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery.
Meaning of Invasive
An invasive procedure is one that penetrates or breaks the skin or enters a body cavity. Examples of invasive procedures include those that involve perforation, an incision, a catheterization, or other entry into the body. Surgery is a typical medical invasive procedure.
Procedure for Minimally Invasive Surgery
During a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the skin, just a few millimeters, in some cases. A long, thin tube with a miniature camera attached at the end (endoscope) is passed through one of the incisions.
Images from the endoscope are projected onto monitors in the operating room so surgeons can get a clear view of the surgical area. Special instruments are passed through the other openings. These instruments allow the orthopedic surgeon to perform the surgery by exploring, removing, or repairing whatever’s wrong inside the body.
In some cases, a patient might be scheduled for a minimally invasive procedure, but after getting a view inside the body the surgeon might have to “convert” the procedure to an open (conventional) surgery. This may be because the problem or the anatomy is different from what the surgeon expected.
Minimally invasive surgery can take longer than conventional surgery, but the pros usually outweigh the cons. Because the incisions are small, the child usually feels less pain, has less scarring, and may recover more quickly than with conventional surgery.
Not all procedures can (or should) be done through minimally invasive methods, however. Your doctor will tell you what type of procedure is best for your child. Be sure to ask about the possible risks associated with any procedure, as well as the potential benefits.