Some procedures that were traditionally performed through open surgery are now offered through minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive techniques include:
- Laparoscopic surgery where a surgeon inserts a tiny microscope and instruments through small incisions in the chest. The surgeon directly moves the instruments to perform the surgery.
- Robotic surgery, where the microscope and instruments are moved by a mechanical arm. The surgeon moves the arm from a console in the operating room. The mechanical arm offers improved stability and better range of motion than laparoscopic surgery.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Smaller incisions
- Reduced risk of infection
- Less pain
- In some cases, faster recovery time
Minimally invasive options may exist for certain valve, thoracic, and vascular surgeries. Your doctor can help you determine if you are a candidate for surgery.