Minimally Invasive Surgery

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In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications.

Laparoscopy — surgery done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny cameras and surgical instruments — was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgery. Another type of minimally invasive surgery is robotic surgery. It provides a magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site and helps the surgeon operate with precision, flexibility and control.

Continual innovations in minimally invasive surgery make it beneficial for people with a wide range of conditions. If you need surgery and think you may be a candidate for this approach, talk with your doctor.

Types of minimally invasive surgery

  • Adrenalectomy to remove one or both adrenal glands
  • Anti-reflux surgery, sometimes called hiatal hernia repair, to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Cancer surgery, for example, to destroy a tumor
  • Colectomy to remove parts of a diseased colon
  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery
  • Endovascular surgery to treat or repair an aneurysm
  • Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) to remove gallstones that cause pain
  • Gastroenterologic surgery, including for gastric bypass
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Heart surgery
  • Kidney transplant
  • Nephrectomy (kidney removal)
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Splenectomy to remove the spleen
  • Thoracic surgery, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Urologic surgery

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