If your doctor has recommended surgery, it’s natural to feel anxious about it. But minimally invasive (also known as laparoscopic or keyhole) procedures are making many surgeries dramatically safer and more tolerable. Instead of a large incision at the treatment site, the surgeon makes one or more very small incisions, and inserts slender instruments and a tiny camera to help visualize progress on a monitor. In some cases, the patient goes home with only bandages to cover the wounds.
“Almost every surgeon at Yale Medicine performs some type of minimally invasive surgery,” says Nita Ahuja, MD, chair of Yale Medicine Surgery and chief of surgery for Yale New Haven Hospital. “Of course, there may always be situations where the most effective way to perform a surgery will be through a larger incision. But minimally invasive approaches are an important tool in our toolbox now. They can be far easier on the patient, causing less tissue damage, fewer complications, and minimal pain and scarring. Patients recover quickly and leave the hospital sooner.”