A Long Road Ahead After Surgery?
Surgery has saved the lives of countless over the years. More than 17 million operations happen yearly. So while surgery can be life-saving, one of the biggest obstacles can be the lengthy recovery time. However, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has changed the way patients recover.
Understanding minimally invasive surgeries
Minimally invasive surgery refers to any surgical procedure using small cuts to enter and repair the damage. These cuts could be as small as 1-2 inches, giving the procedure the nickname keyhole surgery. With a laparoscope, surgeries could happen faster and safer. This device contains a small, high-powered camera allowing surgeons to project the work on screens. This reduced the need for large incisions. Now, minimally invasive surgeries occur in simple and complex surgeries, including spinal, heart and reproductive procedures.
Smaller cuts, faster healing
Doctors and patients alike praise MIS for the short recovery time. But what makes MIS have a quicker healing period? From first glance, the size of the wound is a significant factor. With conventional procedures, surgeons make larger cuts through skin, tissue, and muscle. These cuts can take weeks to heal and are sometimes prone to infection. With MIS, a smaller surface area gets affected. For instance, patients getting minimally invasive pancreatic and liver surgeries had a shorter length of stay versus open surgery.
Shorter procedures, less damage
What minimally invasive surgery needs in terms of technology and skills, the procedure makes up in speed. The procedure recovery time can also be attributed to the shorter times for surgery. For instance, minimally invasive spinal surgery has a faster operating time versus open surgery. Shorter procedures mean a smaller chance of damage. In the past, a team of surgeons would need to open a patients chest to repair a heart valve. Now, minimally invasive technology means fewer surgeons, precise work, and fewer complications.
Pain-free and back in business
Unsurprisingly, minimally invasive surgeries can be outpatient procedures. This means the patient can leave the same day after the process. Even more, MIS patients report less pain and discomfort after the procedure. Patients also take fewer opioids for pain. In some cases, the patient can go back to everyday life in a few days.
Consider MIS today
Surprisingly, despite their effectiveness, some hospitals still underutilize minimally invasive surgeries. Studies show some procedures have as low as a 13% usage rate. The procedures continue to grow in use as surgeons continue to learn and expand skillsets. The recovery benefits can help patients be at ease with an upcoming surgery. Talk to a surgeon to determine if minimally invasive surgery is an option.