Minimally Invasive Surgery
The general surgeons at Alaska Surgical Group use minimally invasive surgical techniques where possible. Use of minimally invasive surgical techniques decrease the recovery time of many patients because the surgical incisions are considerably smaller than conventional surgery and therefore less damaging to the other vital soft tissue structures.
In addition, these new techniques lessen the risk of injury to vital organs, blood vessels and nerves.
With traditional “open” surgery, a longer hospital stay and recovery time is often involved. The surgery can also increase blood loss which can require donated blood. Not every surgery, however, qualifies for a minimally invasive approach.
Surgery then home, same day
Alaska Surgical Group minimally invasive techniques and instrumentation to help patients recover in a shorter period of time and allow for a quicker return home. Innovative developments in minimally invasive techniques have pioneered better ways for the surgeon to access the body, moreover making the recovery process quicker and less painful.
In minimally invasive surgery, a smaller incision is made, sometimes only a half-inch in length. The surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through these tiny incisions to access the damaged area in the body. Entry and repair to the damaged area is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues when using minimally invasive techniques.
Minimally invasive surgery requires extensive training and experience to master use of the tools, but there is tremendous benefit for the patient.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Smaller incision and smaller scar
- Less damage to tissues and muscles
- Less blood loss
- Less post-operative pain
- Less painful recovery
- Quicker return to activity
Some patients at Alaska Surgical Group can have their surgery on an outpatient basis and be home later the same day. Recovery in one’s own home can be more comfortable than staying in a hospital bed.
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic or “minimally invasive” surgery is a specialized technique for performing surgery. In traditional “open” surgery the surgeon uses a single incision to enter into the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery uses several 0.5-1cm incisions. Each incision is called a “port.”
At each port a tubular instrument known as a trochar is inserted. Specialized instruments and a special camera known as a laparoscope are passed through the trochars during the procedure.
At the beginning of the procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a working and viewing space for the surgeon. The laparoscope transmits images from the abdominal cavity to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room. During the operation the surgeon watches detailed images of the abdomen on the monitor. This system allows the surgeon to perform the same operations as traditional surgery but with smaller incisions.
In certain situations a surgeon may choose to use a special type of port that is large enough to insert a hand. When a hand port is used the surgical technique is called “hand assisted” laparoscopy. The incision required for the hand port is larger than the other laparoscopic incisions, but is usually smaller than the incision required for traditional surgery.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery
Compared to traditional open surgery, patients often experience less pain, a shorter recovery and less scarring with laparoscopic surgery.