What are the pros and cons of minimally invasive surgeries?

September 28, 2016

Minimally invasive surgeries are those, where the cuts made to perform the surgery are much smaller in size than they usually would be in open surgery. Types of minimally invasive surgeries include laparoscopic bariatric surgery, lap sleeve gastrectomy, lap appendectomy procedure, laparoscopy diagnostic, and laparoscopic hernia repair.

A lap appendectomy procedure is one, in which a very small incision is made in your abdomen in comparison to open surgery. In this procedure, a camera is placed through the tube to find the appendix, after which, the appendix is removed. A similar procedure is used for laparoscopic bariatric surgery where the stomach is stapled. Lap sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopy diagnostic and laparoscopic hernia repair also use similar techniques. Here are the pros and cons of each of these techniques.

Pros or Advantages of minimally invasive surgeries:

  1. Shorter recovery time: This is possible because the wound is smaller. A smaller wound means less skin to cover when the scabs form and since the scab forms faster, the wound will heal quickly. It has been said that a minimally invasive surgery takes about a quarter the time that an open surgery would take to heal. Open surgeries normally take six to eight weeks to heal, while minimally invasive surgeries can take less than two weeks if they are done
  1. Decreased time at the hospital: You probably think that having a surgery means a very long hospital stay, which would include a minimum of 5 to 8 days on average. However, with a minimally invasive surgery, you only have to stay for 23 hours.
  1. Decreased chances of infection: This is perhaps the biggest advantage of minimally invasive surgeries. Because recovery time is a lot shorter, your chances of getting an infection are reduced. This is because, with faster healing of the wound, the timeframe in which the infection may occur is shortened. Also, since the wound is smaller as compared to open surgery, the amount of protection against the infection you need to take initiative is also reduced.
  1. Decreased scarring: This is yet another advantage of minimally invasive surgeries as they take only a stitch or two to close, unlike open surgeries, which require more stitches since the incision is much bigger in size.
  1. More safety and less pain: Having a gigantic wound on your body is very painful. There is a lot of blood loss too. Both of these problems are resolved if you go for a minimally invasive surgery. Sometimes, the pain is so much with an open surgery that it is impossible for the patient not to have a laparoscopy, which is why minimally invasive surgeries prove to be a better choice.

Cons or disadvantages of minimally invasive surgeries:

  1. The Cost: A minimally invasive surgery is extremely expensive. This is because not only are the high-tech cameras very expensive to make but also are expensive to maintain. Also, the doctors need special training to perform a minimally invasive surgery. Apart, a minimally invasive surgery is not viable for many families.
  1. Complications may occur: Sometimes laparoscopies lead to complications. This is because when the laparoscopy is performed, there are gases released such as carbon dioxide, which may cause complications for certain patients. You have to consult your doctor on whether it will cause a complication for you or not.
  1. Not always available: Once again, due to the large costs of a laparoscopy, not all hospitals can afford it. This means finding a hospital, which performs laparoscopies is difficult.

Laparoscopies have a lot of health benefits but do consult an expert about the complications, which may occur due to laparoscopies before you opt for one.