Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

Sizing Up Minimally Invasive Surgery

Posted by Surgical Services Team on Apr 5, 2016 4:08:00 PM

You hear a lot about minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques nowadays. It’s natural to wonder what exactly it is about the surgery that makes it minimally invasive. To find out, read on.

Today’s surgeons have access to advancements such as miniature tools and cameras that have made a huge difference in surgical outcomes for patients. Surgical incisions that once spanned several inches or more are now as small as a dime. Dozens of minimally invasive surgeries have limited scarring and shortened recoveries that cut hospital stays by as much as half. They also carry a lower risk of complications.

Let’s take a closer look at two common surgeries and how the minimally invasive approach makes a difference.

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Dr. Benson is one of our many talented surgical specialists here at BMH.

The removal of the damaged portion of a herniated disk and lumbar fusion are two spinal procedures that once meant 12-15-cm surgical incisions plus five to seven days in the hospital. The traditional surgery also involved moving muscles to get to the spine — a process that could lead to pain and tissue damage.

Spine Surgery

Today, MIS surgeons use X-ray imagery and microscopes to maneuver tools that function as a passageway into the spinal column. MIS incisions can be less than 2.5 cm in length for a discectomy, while lumbar fusion can mean as few two or three days in the hospital.

Hip Replacement

Implanting a new, man-made prosthesis to replace a failing natural hip joint can improve mobility and relieve pain. The surgery, which once required muscle cuts to reach the joint, meant up to four days in the hospital with a 25-30-cm incision.

Now surgeons have special tables and techniques that limit damage to healthy muscles and allow healing to begin almost immediately. In-hospital recovery time has been trimmed to as little as one day, while the formerly extensive incision has shrunk to an incredible 7-15 cm (or two even smaller incisions).

A Range of Minimally-invasive Options

Beaufort Memorial offers many MIS procedures using the da Vinci Surgical System and laparoscopy. While not everyone is a candidate for MIS, many people are able to experience surgical procedures with less pain, smaller scars, greater accuracy and a faster recovery. For more information on minimally invasive surgical options at BMH click here.

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