Innovations: Minimally Invasive Surgery: A revolution in miniature

Minimally invasive surgery refers to a variety of procedures that use specially designed microsurgical instruments inserted into a patient's body through tiny incisions.

During these procedures, surgeons watch the progress of the work through miniature camera systems on very narrow, flexible scopes.

Less pain, quick recovery

Every year, more and more surgical procedures are performed in a minimally invasive manner - with smaller incisions, reduced pain, shorter hospital stays, and a speedy return to normal life. Minimally invasive surgery is revolutionizing all areas of surgery from neurosurgery to cardiothoracic procedures.

Nearly all patients having minimally invasive surgery are able to go home the same day and return to work within seven to 10 days. In the past, patients needing gall bladder or knee surgery, faced a four-to-seven-day stay in the hospital and months to recuperate.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital have been on the leading edge in minimally invasive surgery. Some specialty areas include:

  • •  Arthroscopic repair of shoulder, knee, and ankle joints
  • •  Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • •  Laparoscopic banding for obesity
  • •  Laparoscopic removal of bowel tumors
  • •  Laparoscopic removal of the gall bladder
  • •  Laparoscopic repair of gastric reflux
  • •  Laparoscopic repair of hernias
  • •  Minimally invasive hip surgery
  • •  Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • •  Sinus endoscopy


Arthroscopic surgery advances

Arthroscopy is a surgical technique that uses tiny incisions and a fiber-optic camera to treat the painful joint. It is replacing many of the older surgical procedures states especially for the shoulder and knee. The result is that incisions are smaller, pain is reduced and recovery is quicker. These techniques were originally available only to a few high performance athletes. They are now becoming accessible to the public at large.

Gastric reflux relief

Laparoscopic treatments also have proven successful for gastric reflux disease-heartburn caused by the upward flow of acid juices from the stomach. Working through five small incisions in the patient's abdomen, the largest of which is the diameter of a dime, he repairs damage to the diaphragm.

Minimally invasive tubal ligation

For women thinking about tubal ligation, minimally invasive procedures are a new, leading- edge alternative. In a procedure that usually takes less than 20 minutes, soft flexible micro-inserts are placed in the fallopian tubes hysteroscopically. The process is nearly pain-free with a quick recovery time and has proven close to 100 percent effective.


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