Minimally-invasive surgical procedures use very small incisions to help minimize surgical risks, bleeding, and discomfort, and to help speed healing and recovery. Most procedures rely on special instruments designed specifically for use through small incisions, as well as tiny cameras to help the doctor see the surgical site and perform the procedure without the use of a large incision. Cameras project images onto a video screen so they can be easily viewed. Minimally-invasive procedures are used in many specialty areas, including obstetrics and gynecology.
Many gynecological procedures can be performed using minimally-invasive approaches, including hysterectomy, ESSURE® sterilization, oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), tubal ligation, fibroid removal (myomectomy), treatment of endometriosis, cystoscopy (a procedure to diagnose and treat bladder issues), and treatment of ectopic pregnancy. Menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding common during perimenopause) can also be treated using minimally-invasive techniques.
It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but robot-assisted surgery is routinely used in many areas of medicine to ensure optimal outcomes from surgeries that benefit from a high degree of precision and reproducible results. In robot-assisted surgery, robots do not perform surgery on their own; instead, they're controlled by the surgeon to perform specific tasks. Robot-assisted surgical systems enable very precise surgeries to be performed through tiny incisions measuring no more than an inch in length so patients experience fewer risks, less tissue damage, and faster recovery periods.
Laparoscopy is a procedure that uses an instrument called a laparoscope to see inside the body using a tiny camera to send images to a computer monitor for viewing. Laparoscopy typically uses two or more small incisions – one for the laparoscope and one or more for the instruments used to perform the surgery.
No, some surgeries require traditional approaches using large incisions. For instance, many cancer surgeries require larger incisions to ensure all cancerous tissues are removed.
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