Your decision to have general surgery is only the beginning. You and your doctor will also talk about how the procedure will be performed. Most surgeries can be performed several different ways.
You may have the option to have the surgery performed conventionally or with a minimally invasive approach. Each choice has pros and cons for your particular situation. Discuss these with your surgeon.
“Minimally invasive” describes a collection of techniques that allows a doctor to perform an operation with a smaller opening and much less trauma to your body than traditional surgery. The two most common kinds of minimally invasive surgery are laparoscopic and robotic.
- In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor makes one or more tiny incisions and inserts temporary tubes (known as ports) into the openings. Then, a doctor will use these tubes to guide a camera, or laparoscope, and surgical instruments to the surgical site.Laparoscopic surgery has been in existence for more than a century. It started to grow in the 1980s with technology that reduced the size of the camera and other surgical equipment. The incisions are so small that it is sometimes called “Band-Aid surgery.”
- Robotic surgery uses computers to operate tools at the end of a robotic arm. Like laparoscopic surgery, the doctor also uses a tiny camera inside the body to see the surgical site. St. Dominic’s has a highly experienced robotics team and more robots than any hospital in the state.
Both types of minimally invasive surgery have less risk of infection, less pain and shorter recovery times. Discuss with your surgeon the pluses and minuses of these different approaches. As technology advances, so do your options for safe, effective surgery.