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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Advances in technology and instrumentation have made it possible for skilled surgeons to perform some complex operations with less dissection and destruction of deep tissues and smaller skin incisions. The advantages of these new techniques may include less pain and bleeding, faster healing, and a lower complication rate.

Not all procedures lend themselves to these special techniques, not all patients are candidates, and not all surgeons have the training or experience to perform them. On occasion a procedure must be modified to a greater or lesser extent to deal with anatomic or clinical variations or problems. It is not possible to guarantee cosmetic or functional results.

Minimally invasive surgery should not be confused with microsurgery. Micro refers to the use of an operating microscope. This kind of surgery is often employed to repair cut nerves or blood vessels with extremely fine sutures. Paradoxically, these procedures often require very large incisions with extensive dissection of deep tissues to expose work on the damaged structures.

Another confusing term is Mini-incision surgery. By definition, this a technique in which a smaller skin incision is made, but the deeper dissection and disruption of tissues is the same as in larger incision surgery. Studies have demonstrated the cosmetic benefits of these procedures, but not the other possible benefits a minimally invasive procedure might offer.

Minimally Invasive Surgery