Medical Advances that Make Surgery Less Invasive
Often, when a patient went in for even minor surgery it was invasive, painful and might even have required a night in the hospital. On top of this, the surgery would require a recovery period that would keep the patient away from their job for a period of time. Now, technology has made many of these surgeries far less invasive. The results are less pain, a shorter recovery period, a lower risk of infection and other complications and sometimes no time spent overnight in a hospital. Here are some of the medical advances that have made surgery less invasive:
In this type of surgery, tiny incisions are made in the area. Then, an equally tiny camera can be inserted. The surgeon operates with miniaturized instruments while being guided by a video monitor. This type of surgery is used in everything from repairing herniated disks, to joint surgery to removing diseased internal organs to certain types of weight loss surgery. Laparoscopic surgery can also be used to replaced valves in the heart and in the aorta. Normally, these types of surgeries would require large incisions and time in the hospital. Now, some of these operations are considered outpatient procedures.
Laser surgery has become so accurate that the targeted laser beam can repair or destroy the exact area where it’s needed without damaging surrounding tissue. Lasers can also cut down on blood loss by cauterizing blood vessels in the surgical area. Lasers are now extensively used in everything from laser spine surgery, cataract surgery, surgery to correct refractive errors of the eye and cosmetic procedures. These include the removal of scars, birthmarks, liver spots and other signs of aging.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This is a scan to see into the body that’s more accurate than CT scans or sonograms and is far more accurate than X-rays. MRIs use powerful magnets and radio waves to see internal organs, bones, blood vessels and other components of the body. Because an MRI scan can find conditions that other types of scan might miss, it can obviate the need for exploratory surgery.
Robots are everywhere and that includes the operating room. Robotic surgery can be an adjunct to laparoscopic surgery, except the instruments are wielded by a robotic arm that can be controlled by a computer or by the surgeon. Robotic surgery can be even more precise than laparoscopic surgery and can be used for very delicate procedures that involve blood vessels or nerves.
Medical technology is advancing every day and the benefits for the patients are many and increasing.
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