Minimally invasive surgery is becoming more and more common today. These procedures are performed through tiny incisions instead of one large opening. Because the incisions are small, patients tend to have quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery — all with the same benefits.
During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin — just a few millimeters, in some cases. A long, thin tube with a miniature camera attached at the end (called an endoscope) is passed through one of the incisions. Images from the endoscope are projected onto monitors in the operating room so surgeons can get a clear (and magnified) view of the surgical area. Special instruments are passed through the other openings. These instruments allow the surgeon to perform the surgery by exploring, removing, or repairing whatever’s wrong inside the body.