How Minimally Invasive Procedures Work
Minimally invasive procedures, which include laparoscopic surgery, use state-of-the-art technology to reduce the damage to human tissue when performing surgery. For example, in most procedures, a surgeon makes several small ¾ inch incisions and inserts thin tubes called trocars. Carbon dioxide gas may be used to inflate the area, creating a space between the internal organs and the skin. Then a miniature camera (usually a laparoscope or endoscope) is placed through one of the trocars so the surgical team can view the procedure as a magnified image on video monitors in the operating room. Then, specialized instruments are placed through the other trocars to perform the procedures. In some cases, such as minimally invasive colon surgery, a slightly larger incision may be needed. But with others, like minimally invasive hemorrhoid procedures, no incisions or trocars are necessary.
There are some advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be performed almost exclusively through a single point of entry – meaning only one small incision. This is called Single Site Laparoscopy and is another approach to performing traditional laparoscopic surgery using the same tools.