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Minimally Invasive Procedures

Minimally Invasive Procedures (Laparascopic)

Using technology unimaginable a few generations ago, certain surgeries can now be performed by making incisions as small as a dime, instead of the long cuts through skin and muscle as required by open surgery.

While minimally invasive procedures, also known as laparascopic surgery, can't be used for all illnesses, they can and often are used for colon, heart, prostate, bladder, breast, gynecological, and thyroid surgeries, among other operations. Gastric bypasses for weight reduction also are commonly performed using laparascopic methods, and nearly all gallbladder surgeries are done using laparascopic surgery.

Highly trained and experienced surgeons at WakeMed Physician Practices - General Surgery offer a wide range of minimally invasive procedures, providing patients the opportunity for surgeries with faster recovery times and much less trauma to the body.

How does minimally invasive surgery work?

Depending on the type of surgery, a laparoscopic surgeon will make a small cut or a series of short, small incisions. The surgeon then will usually insert an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a lighted camera on it, into the incision. The camera is able to send two-dimensional images of the surgical site to a computer monitor, which magnifies the surgical area. The laparoscopic surgeon will watch the monitor throughout the operation as he or she places specially designed surgical instruments through the original incision or through other cuts.This is very different from open surgery, which is the more traditional way of operating. In that type of surgery, the surgeon makes long cuts through skin and muscle, and sometimes even bone. Getting over this type of surgery can be slow and painful, because it usually causes a greater loss of blood and a much longer recuperation period to allow the skin and muscle to heal. Laparascopic surgery causes much less trauma to the body. In fact, some gallbladder removals are performed through a single incision around the navel, and patients are able to go home that same day and heal without a scar.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is an advanced formed of minimally invasive surgery. Like laparascopic surgery, it is performed through small incisions, and so causes less blood loss and has a considerably faster recovery time than open surgery. During robotic surgery, the surgeon uses a remote control console rather than performing the surgery manually. A special camera provides a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical site, which gives surgeons much greater precision and control.

Robotic surgery has been in use for about 25 years. In the early days, it was used on very simple operations. Today it is used for many complex disorders involving the heart, abdomen, head and neck, gynecological disorders, urological diseases, and cancers.

Not all operations can be performed robotically, and not every patient is a candidate for a robotic procedure. These are some of the commonly offered types of minimally invasive surgery:

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Esophageal surgery
  • General surgery
  • Liver surgery
  • Hernias surgery
  • Endocrine (thyroid) surgery
  • Obstetrical and gynecological surgery
  • Urological surgery (such as prostate cancer)

Can I have this surgery if I want it?

In most cases, yes, although not all patients and surgeries are candidates for laparascopic or robotic surgery. The surgeons at WakeMed Physician Practices - General Surgery are dedicated to using minimally invasive surgery whenever possible, and will be honest and open with you about your circumstances and whether that is the best choice for you and your speedy recovery.