Fearful About Surgery?
Every year, doctors tell millions of patients that surgery is necessary. When people think about surgery, emergency, high-stakes procedures come to mind. In reality, over 40 million surgeries happen every year. Most of these procedures are elective, meaning the patient can have these conveniently. Elective surgeries are not life-threatening and can improve the quality of life. Still, the idea of surgery could feel daunting. Advancements in surgical techniques mean patients can have minimally invasive outpatient procedures.
Reducing the risk
Fears and hesitations about surgery are understandable. All surgeries have a degree of risk. There is a chance of infection, bleeding, and other severe complications. These risks are far greater with open surgeries. Open surgery uses a large incision, often through tissue and muscle, to access the surgical area. These risks are much higher with open surgery than a minimally invasive approach.
Minimally invasive surgery uses 1-3 small incisions to access the surgical site. The incision is less than one inch, often the width of a buttonhole. These small incisions are possible thanks to a device called a scope. Scopes are narrow surgical tools that go into the tiny cuts with a light and camera at the end. The scope projects an image of the surgical site, eliminating the need for an incision several inches long. The surgeon can use other small incisions to insert tools to repair, remove, or replace. Minimally invasive techniques have been around for decades and are becoming widely available for patients worldwide.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery
Today, surgeons can use minimally invasive surgery for nearly unlimited procedures. For instance, the surgeon will use an arthroscope for ligament, bone, and tendon repairs. Gastroscopes and colonoscopes help access the GI tract, while endoscopes can view organs like the uterus. Minimally invasive surgery has a range of benefits. Smaller incisions mean less blood loss, less pain, and smaller scars for starters. Studies show that minimally invasive surgeries are safer and have high success rates. Minimally invasive surgery is also cheaper compared to open procedures.
What do you mean by outpatient surgery?
Patients are hesitant to have surgery because of lengthy hospital stays. Extended hospital stays can be costly and increase the chances of infections. Minimally invasive surgery is often called outpatient surgery, as the procedure allows patients to leave the same day. Small incisions mean less blood loss and pain. This will enable people to leave with assistance from a friend or family member. Some patients even decide to use ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), clinics that perform same-day procedures. Outpatient surgery means fewer complications and a shorter length of stay at hospitals.
Surgeries with confidence
Minimally invasive surgery has several benefits that can allay the fears of patients. The process continues to evolve, with techniques like robotic-arm assisted surgery helping reduce recovery times. Of course, there is still a place for open surgeries. Some patients may not be candidates for minimally invasive surgery, or an emergency case may call for swift action. However, elective procedures are now easier, safer, and more successful. Discuss with a surgeon the possibility of minimally invasive outpatient procedures instead.