Minimally Invasive Surgery: How Does It Work?

Unlike a traditional open surgical procedure, minimally invasive surgery allows surgeons to perform surgical procedures through smaller incisions. It is considered to be a safe and efficient technique. Your surgeon will advise whether you are the right candidate for a laparoscopic surgery.

Why Is Minimally Invasive Surgery Performed?

It is often performed to diagnose and cure various health conditions. It is performed mainly when non-invasive methods cannot provide enough information for diagnosing or curing a health condition. It is also performed to take a sample of tissue from a specific organ in the abdominal region. If your doctor uses this approach, they can treat your condition immediately after diagnosis.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

It offers various benefits to patients, including:

  • Less scarring
  • Less pain 
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less bleeding
  • Less trauma to surrounding organs and tissue

How Is Minimally Invasive Surgery Performed?

General or local anesthesia is used depending on the surgical procedure and the area to be treated. The surgeon makes several small cuts in your abdomen. They will insert a small rod called laparoscope containing a miniature camera and light through an incision. Then, they will insert a small tube through another incision to expand the region with carbon dioxide gas, so the surgeon has more space to work.

The camera attached to the laparoscope displays the images of your organs on a large, high-definition monitor, allowing the surgeon to clearly view your organs in real time. The surgeon can get a better visualization through a magnified view. They will place other surgical instruments through other incisions to perform the surgical procedure.

The size and number of incisions depend on the specific medical condition. Generally, one to four small incisions of 3-5mm length are made to perform the procedure.

How Long Do You Have to Stay in the Hospital After Minimally Invasive Surgery?

When the procedure is done, hospital staff will monitor your heart rate, breathing, and check if you develop any adverse reactions or signs of prolonged bleeding. You may go home the same day or stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days depending on the type of anesthesia used, how your body responds to the surgical procedure, and your overall physical condition.

What Is the Recovery Time for Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Patients can return to their routine activities after two weeks, but complete recovery can take 4 to 6 weeks. Avoid exercising and lifting heavy objects for a few weeks.

Want to learn more about the minimally invasive surgical procedure? Contact us at 907-276-3676.


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Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Alaska Cancer Treatment Center


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