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Tech-enabled Healthcare Procedures: Advancements in Minimal Access Surgery

Tech-enabled Healthcare Procedures

With the continuous development of science, technology and improvement of people’s living standards, the requirements for differentiated medical care, treatment quality and quality of life have gradually improved. People not only care about the treatment results, but also the comfort, privacy protection and minimal invasion during the treatment. Thus, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques have achieved significant improvement in recent years.

In MIS, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, MIS is associated with less pain, a shorter time to be hospitalized and fewer complications than conventional techniques.

Kinds of Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed through either the abdomen or pelvis. With this technique the doctor can extract organs like parts of intestine, ovary, fallopian tube, gallbladder, spleen and appendix. He or she can repair a hernia or take out tumors, cysts, or other growths. Bariatric surgery is the latest addition where a large cut is avoided on an obese person undergoing weight loss surgery. It is usually performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. During the procedure, a laparoscope, a narrow instrument attached to a camera, is inserted into 1-5 millimeter incisions, making the surgical area viewable on video monitors located in the operating room. The surgery is then performed by inserting various instruments through the laparoscope. Most popular procedures are for gall stones, hernia, appendix, hiatus hernia, esophagus, stomach, intestine and colon cancers & weight loss bariatric surgery.

Robotic Surgery

In a Robotic/ Robot assisted surgery the surgeon is seated at a console that displays a magnified 3D image of the surgical site. Through the computer

While working on a computer operated console, the surgeon uses master controls for hand movements, through this they can perform several procedures with precision-guided robotic arms that hold and manipulate miniaturized instruments that are inserted through keyhole-sized incisions in the patient.

Through a tiny incision a small video camera is inserted, that helps the surgeons get a magnified 3D image of the operating site. This is used for surgery in the chest and abdomen for cancerous and non-cancerous diseases. Also, for bariatric surgery and complex hernia repairs.

Thoracoscopy or Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery

This is similar to laparoscopy, and is done in the chest. Common problems treated are Thymectomy for tumor and myasthenia gravis, Esophageal and lung surgeries. Surgery is done with the aid of a telescope through 3 or 4 small cuts.

Endoscopic Bariatric Surgery

This is being done for weight loss in people who need to lose less weight than bariatric surgery. Also, for those who don’t want surgery or may be unfit for surgery. Here through an endoscope, gastric balloons or stomach stitching known as endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) is done.

Under general anesthesia most procedures take at least two to three hours. This kind of surgery is characterized by minimal blood loss and rarely requires blood transfusion. Depending on the criticality of the health condition patients often only spend one night in the hospital and are usually discharged as soon as their laboratory tests are acceptable, pain is controlled, and they are able to retain liquids.

Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery time
  • Early return to work
  • Fewer complications, including risk of infection

(Dr Arun Prasad, Senior Consultant, Surgical Gastroenterology & Bariatric Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)

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