Minimal access surgery also known as laparoscopic surgery or keyhole surgery is a modern technique of surgical treatment where a small incision is used to operate instead of large cuts. From small cuts, we refer to keyhole-sized incisions that allow surgeons to insert a telescope like an apparatus inside the human body to diagnose or treat a prevailing medical condition. When traditionally operated, the surgeon needs to make large cuts on the human body in order to view inside and operate. However, minimal access surgery allows surgeons to have a clear and better view of the insides of a human body through digitally transmitted images from a video camera, inserted inside the body. The camera acts like a surgeon’s vision during the surgery and allows performing a critical operation, efficiently.
Different types of minimal access surgeries:
When minimal access surgery is performed in the abdominal area of a patient, it is known as laparoscopy. On the other hand, when the technology is used to operate on joints it is known as arthroscopy, and when on the chest the procedure is named as thoracoscopy.
Let us have a better understanding of different types of minimal access surgical treatments:
- Laparoscopy: One of the most common minimally invasive surgery is Laparoscopy. In this surgery, a video camera mounted on a telescopic instrument is inserted inside the abdominal range of the human body. This video camera transmits live images of the inside of the human body to a monitor, which the surgeon utilizes to proceed with the procedure. Laparoscopy is the procedure when the operation is performed in the abdomen area.
- Arthroscopy: Another important keyhole surgery, Arthroscopy is used for examining and treating damage or other complications to the joints. The apparatus used for the procedure is known as an arthroscope, which is an endoscope device that is inserted inside the human body at the joints to get a view of the inside with minimal invasion.
- Thoracoscopy: Thoracoscopy is a procedure that is used to examine and identify the problems in the lung region. Usually, doctors perform Thoracoscopy to check the pleural lining of the lungs and the surface of the lungs. Like other minimally invasive methods, a thoracoscope is introduced into the chest cavity through a minimal incision to identify signs of pleural mesothelioma such as inflammation, pleural plaques, and pleural thickening.
Minimal access or laparoscopic surgery: condition & treatments
Minimal Access Surgeries are one of the best ways to treat a range of medical conditions. It is recommended by the experts because of the successful results it has to offer. The most common health conditions & treatments where minimal access surgery is recommended include:
- Gall Bladder Surgery
- Hernia Repair
- Anorectal conditions
- Appendix Surgery
- Intestinal Obstruction
- Thyroid and Parathyroid glands
- Solid Organ Surgery
Depending upon the condition of the patient and the extent of the condition the surgeon may recommend a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment. The success rate of Minimal Access Surgery is way higher than that of traditional surgeries along with many other exclusive benefits.
Advantages of minimal access surgery
The advantages of Minimal Access Surgery are over and above the benefits of conventional surgery. It can be broadly classified under two heads.
Benefits for the patient
The biggest advantage of Minimal Access Surgery is in an aspect of Cosmesis. The patient does not have to deal with large wounds and then scars in case of a minimally invasive procedure. Also, because the size of the wound is minimal, the healing time for the surgery is minimal too. The patient can gain back movement within a week or even less. As the patients get their mobility back, they get a physiological boost for early recovery.
To summarize, the benefits of minimal access surgery for patients include:
- Lesser pain
- Early recovery
- Quick cosmesis
- Short hospital stay and expenses
- Lesser complications
- Better results
- Quick return to normal life
Benefits for the doctor
All the advantages of minimal access surgery for doctors also have favorable outcomes for the patients as they are the primary party getting affected by the treatment. The benefits include the large and magnified view of the inside of the body. In the case of cancer like diseases wherein the problem has expanded beyond treatment, the doctors can always have a visual examination
Any problem related to large incisions such as infection or pain in scars and hernia formation is limited in minimal access surgery.
Common myths about minimal access surgery
There are certain myths about the surgical procedure which do not have any scientific base and support. These myths include:
- Minimal invasive surgery is an incomplete procedure and there are always chances of reoccurrence – This is not true as the results of conventional surgery as well as minimal access surgery is almost the same, in fact, better.
- The complication rate is higher – Certainly not, when performed by a qualified surgeon, minimally invasive methods are least complicated.
- An expensive procedure – There is only a small difference between the cost of conventional surgeries and the cost of minimally invasive surgery.
- All the surgery can be performed utilizing the minimally invasive method. – No, not all surgeries can be performed utilizing the MAS technique. However, thanks to modern technology the expanse of MAS is rising and more and more procedures can be now done utilizing the minimally invasive surgery techniques.