What Is A ‘Minimally Invasive Procedure’?

When it comes to surgical interventions performed on internal organs, joints or blood vessels, the treatment options include both conventional and so-called minimally invasive procedures. While both types of interventions are forms of surgery, conventional surgical treatments and minimally invasive options are different in many ways. Here are some features of minimally invasive interventions that you should know about before choosing the option.

The Most Important Differences between Conventional Surgery and Minimally Invasive Procedures

Minimally invasive procedures, as the name suggests, are interventions that involve surgical incisions that are much smaller than the incisions involved with conventional surgical interventions. Minimally invasive procedures also take shorter to perform than conventional surgery, which also means that the modern version of the intervention is much less demanding on the patient’s body. The incisions being smaller, the recovery time that follows minimally invasive solutions is usually much shorter than in the case of conventional surgery – while minimally invasive procedures usually require only a couple of days of hospital treatment or can be performed as outpatient treatment, the conventional surgeries used for treating the same conditions might involve weeks of hospital treatment and months of recovery. The recovery period with minimally invasive procedures is also easier and less painful for the patient.

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Some Examples of Minimally Invasive Surgical Interventions

Modern medical technology today allows for performing minimally invasive interventions to treat a very wide range of conditions. According to vascular specialists near me, here are some examples:

  • Arthroscopic surgery – these interventions are performed with the help of a thin fiber optic video camera through a tiny incision into the joint to be treated with the purpose of examining, diagnosing or even treating the joint;
  • Bronchoscopy – these interventions also involve the insertion of a camera, but this time into the lungs to diagnose lung disease, blockages or to take samples of lung tissue or fluid;
  • Endoscopy – the same method, used to diagnose and examine the digestive tract;
  • Laparoscopy – the method is used for a variety of illnesses that used to be treated with open surgery, such as hysterectomy. The method involves the inserting of a tube with a light and a camera that sends images to a monitor. The camera and various additional tools are used together not only for diagnostic purposes, but also for surgical interventions, such as the removal of a tumor or of an organ, such as uterine fibroids or appendices.

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Procedures

Besides shorter recovery and shorter intervention duration, minimally invasive procedures have lots of other benefits as well:

  • The interventions do not require deep cuts through muscles and other types of tissue; therefore, they are less traumatic for the patient;
  • Less scarring – many of these procedures involve very small incisions or holes that heal almost completely;
  • Safety – these methods reduce the risk of infections and complications to the minimum and blood loss is also minimal. These qualities also make minimally invasive interventions suitable for patients who are not suitable candidates for conventional interventions due to some underlying physical condition.