Until recently, people facing surgery often worried about the risk, the pain, and the possibility of a large scar. Now, skilled surgeons can use a minimally invasive approach (laparoscopy) to treat a variety of conditions.
Minimally invasive abdominal surgery uses miniature cameras with microscopes, tiny fiber-optic flashlights, and high definition monitors along with specialized surgical techniques. When the surgeon is finished, the incision needs only a few stitches to close.
Some of the procedures using minimally invasive approaches include:
- Colon resection (colectomy)
- Nissen Fundoplication (anti-reflux or GERD surgery)
- Hernia repair (incisional, abdominal, and inguinal)
- Varicose vein treatments
- Cholecystectomy (gall bladder)
“Using the latest catheter-based treatments for venous reflux, I am now able to treat varicose veins without any of the pain and prolonged recovery previously associated with traditional vein stripping operations. It has truly revolutionized the way I treat this problem,” says Chauncey Griggs, MD, of PeaceHealth Medical Group Surgical Specialists.
Minimally invasive surgery has several benefits. There’s decreased scarring, less pain, a lower risk of infection, and a shorter recovery time. “Some studies have even shown improved survival for colon cancer patients treated with minimally invasive approaches,” adds Dr. Griggs. “Patients often return to their normal activities much sooner than with conventional surgery.”
Published April 2008.