By Dr Anil Madupu
Consultant General & Laparoscopic Surgeon

Published on / 22 July 2022

Minimally Invasive Surgery| Types| Benefits| Risks| Frequently Asked Questions

What is minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is a term used for any surgery that is less invasive than traditional or open surgery. It refers to the use of techniques that permit access to internal organs without a large incision. It is a specialised form of surgery that allows surgeons to operate by making a keyhole sized incision and performing surgeries on internal organs leaving a small scar as against the conventional open surgeries where surgeons performed large incisions.


Types of minimally invasive surgery

There are various types of minimally invasive surgery that have become the standard of care for a wide spectrum of medical conditions ranging from common medical issues to complex tumours.

Surgeons skilled in minimally invasive surgeries are sometimes also referred to as laparoscopic, endoscopic or keyhole surgeons. Depending upon the body part, they typically insert a tube with a camera and light attached along with specially designed surgical tools into the skin through one or more tiny incisions. The camera sends images to a computer screen that the surgeon views and uses for guidance during the operation.

Robotic surgery and image guided surgery are two newer and more advanced types of minimally invasive surgery that may be used for specific conditions. By providing magnified, 3D views of the surgical site, these approaches can enhance a surgeon's vision, precision, and control.

Minimally invasive surgery includes the following:

Laparoscopic surgery A small incision is made in the abdominal wall, through which a laparoscope is inserted.Large pieces of diseased tissue, cancerous or damaged organs, or both, can be removed using this method without the need for a large incision.
Endoscopic surgery A small, flexible tube (endoscope) is used to examine the inside of the digestive tract. Tissue samples from the digestive tract may be obtained for examination and testing as well.
Endovascular surgery A small incision near the hip is made to gain access to blood vessels, and a long catheter is slid through an artery. This technique is used to treat blood vessel problems such as aneurysms. A self-adjusting stent or inflatable balloon is used to treat clogs.
Robotically assisted surgery This is a type of minimally invasive surgery that makes use of advanced, computer-enhanced technologies like the da Vinci surgical system. It is associated with better patient outcomes, as well as less pain, blood loss, scarring, and recovery time.
Natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) These are scarless surgical techniques that involve operating on damaged or diseased organs through natural body openings.
Arthroscopic surgery An Orthopaedic surgeon inserts a thin, flexible fibre optic video camera called an arthroscope through an incision near the joint to examine, diagnose and sometimes repair joint damage.
Bronchoscopy A bronchoscope is a flexible tube with a light and a camera that is inserted through the nose or mouth to look inside the lung airways. Bronchoscopy aids in the evaluation and diagnosis of lung problems, assessment of blockages, collection of tissue or fluid samples, and removal of foreign bodies.
Hysteroscopy A small, flexible tube called as hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina to view inside the uterus without the need for any incisions. Special hysteroscopes are also used for removal of fibroids, polyps or scar tissue.
Sigmoidoscopy The rectum and sigmoid colon are examined using a small, flexible tube with a light and camera lens at the end.
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery(VATS) A tiny camera called as thoracoscope and surgical instruments are inserted through incisions in the chest to diagnose and treat problems affecting the lung, oesophagus and other areas in the chest.
Minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) Minimally invasive heart surgery includes making small incisions in the right side of the chest between the ribs to reach the heart rather than cutting through the breastbone as in open-heart surgery.

Benefits of minimally invasive surgery

There are many benefits of minimally invasive surgery.

1. Minimally Invasive Surgery can be implemented for most of the organs
Many procedures can be performed using robotics or minimally invasive techniques rather than traditional open surgery. The digestive system, heart, lungs, urologic system, kidneys, and gynecologic system can all be operated on with minimally invasive surgery.

2. Smaller Incisions
One additional benefit of minimally invasive surgery is that it requires only small incisions. Larger incisions are usually required in traditional open surgery to gain access to the body part being operated on. A traditional open hysterectomy, for example, requires a six to twelve-inch incision.

3. Less Scarring
Scarring is reduced when incisions are smaller. Smaller incisions necessitate fewer stitches, which are frequently the source of scars. If the incisions do leave scars, they will be far less visible than a single long incision from open surgery. However, scars often fade and become almost invisible within a few months.

4. Increased Accuracy, Decreased Risk of Complications
The surgeon can have a better view of the organ he/she is operating on with minimally invasive procedures that use specialised cameras. The advanced equipment utilised in these operations also enable for the completion of more delicate and complex work. As a result, these surgeries are more precise and result in better outcomes.

When small incisions are used, blood loss, which can be a significant problem during surgery, is also reduced. Minimally invasive surgical incisions heal faster and are less prone to become infected than larger incisions.

5. Shorter Hospital Stays
Patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery have shorter hospital stays than those who have conventional procedures. Many patients can leave the hospital after only one night. Not only will you be able to stay in the comfort of your own home, but a shorter hospital stay will often result in lower costs.

6. Less Pain
Patients who have minimally invasive surgery experience less pain and discomfort than patients who undergo open surgery. This could be because less invasive surgery causes less trauma to the body. Some open operations necessitate the removal of large amounts of muscle and tissue. The cameras and smaller devices used in minimally invasive procedures eliminate the need for vast amounts of tissue to be sliced. Smaller wounds are less painful and heal more quickly.

Because MIS has been linked to faster healing, the duration of post-surgery pain and suffering may be reduced. This reduces the need for pain medication, which has its own share of benefits.

7. Shorter Recovery Period
The shorter recovery period is one of the most attractive benefits of minimally invasive surgery. MIS incisions heal much faster than open procedures. This means that patients can resume their normal activities much quicker than they could with standard surgery. A standard abdominal hysterectomy, for example, often requires a 6 to 8-week recovery period, but a minimally invasive hysterectomy requires 3 to 4 weeks.

Risks of minimally invasive surgery

Even though the risks are lower, minimally invasive surgery can still have some cons. Complications and side effects can include bleeding, infection, and injury to organs. Complications are rare in the hands of a surgeon who has done a given procedure regularly. But it is still important to talk to your surgeon about any risks associated with your particular operation.

Cost of minimally invasive surgery

The approximate cost varies from INR 30,000 to INR 5,00,000. It varies depending on the procedure and your condition. It may also differ depending on the city and hospital chosen for surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery at Medicover hospitals

Medicover hospital is one of the best hospitals in the field of minimally invasive surgery. The hospital uses state of the art equipment for all kinds of surgical procedures. We offer minimal invasive surgery as it results in less tissue damage and faster recovery. The department offers a full spectrum of specialised surgeries under one roof. Our doctors schedule proper treatment plans after making a complete evaluation. You can count on the ability and expertise of the surgeons at Medicover to get the best possible treatment for your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Minimally invasive surgery allows your surgeon to employ techniques that reduce the size and number of cuts, or incisions, that must be made. It is generally regarded as safer than open surgery. You'll usually recover faster, spend less time in the hospital, and be more comfortable while you heal.

Minimally invasive surgery is performed by general surgeons specialised in minimally invasive surgery.

Most surgical procedures can be done using a minimally invasive approach. The oesophagus, stomach, gallbladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, small and large intestine, appendix, adrenal glands, kidneys, bladder, and male and female genitourinary organs can all be removed or reconstructed with this procedure.

Minimally invasive surgeries are less painful, allow faster recovery, better cosmetics and increased accuracy.

When compared to conventional surgery, minimally invasive surgery tends to reduce recovery time in half. Patients who were sent home the day of surgery are frequently able to return to work within two weeks. Recovery time can range from four to six weeks.


References:

  • https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/minimally-invasive-surgery
  • https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/mis/Pages/default.aspx
  • https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/193511