How is minimally invasive surgery different from traditional open surgery?
In what is referred to as open surgery, surgeons have traditionally had to make an incision large enough to expose the internal organs being operated on. To gain access to the body cavity, normal tissue was cut. Within the last decade, however, new minimally invasive surgical techniques have revolutionized many surgical procedures by enabling surgeons to access body cavities for procedures while reducing the injury to overlying skin, muscles, and nerves that occurs with traditional open surgery.
How is minimally invasive surgery performed?
Most minimally invasive surgical procedures are performed with small telescopes and instruments placed through the abdominal wall (laparoscopy) or chest wall (thoracoscopy).
Laparoscopic procedures are performed by inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. Trocars (instruments used to puncture the wall of a body cavity) are then used to create small puncture wounds rather than the much larger incisions required in traditional open surgery. An endoscope (telescope) and instruments are placed into the abdomen through small plastic ports inserted in these small wounds. Telescopic magnification and illumination enhance surgical exposure and anatomic visualization, making it easier for the surgeon to perform the operation.
Thoracoscopic procedures are performed in a similar manner through the chest wall.
What are the benefits of the minimally invasive approach?
With less injury to skin, muscle, and nerves, there are fewer wound complications, postoperative pain management is easier, and the return to normal functioning is quicker. For children, this can mean less time missed at school. For parents, it often means less time away from work caring for their child.
Laparoscopic procedures include:
- Thoracoscopic and minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum
- Thoracoscopic lung biopsy and wedge resection
- Thoracoscopic lobectomy
- Thoracoscopic excision-plication of Bullae
- Thoracoscopic pleural drainage
- Thoracoscopic pleurodesis
- Thoracoscopic sympathectomy
- Thoracoscopic mediastinal exploration
- Thoracoscopic decortication for empyema
- Thoracoscopic resection of mediastinal cysts
- Thoracoscopic tumor biopsy
- Thoracoscopic scoliosis surgery
- Thoracoscopic repair
- Thoracoscopic creation
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