Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgeries are those that doctors use to operate with less damage to the tissues of the body than conventional open surgeries. Generally, minimally invasive surgeries are associated with a shorter hospital stay, less pain, and fewer complications.


Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed by making one or more tiny incisions, using tiny cameras and small tubes, and surgical instruments. It was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgeries invented.

Another form of minimally invasive surgery gaining increasing popularity these days is robotic surgery which offers a 3D, magnified, visualise the operation site and helps the surgeon to operate with precision, flexibility, and control. Continuous innovations in the field of minimally invasive surgeries makes treatment for patients with a wide range of conditions easier. If you need surgery and think that you may be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, you must talk to a healthcare provider.

Many minimally invasive surgeries are performed on specific parts of the body, including:

  • Brain surgery
  • Adrenalectomy to remove one or both adrenal glands
  • Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) to relieve pain caused by gallstones
  • Colectomy to remove parts of a diseased colon
  • Hiatal hernia repair, also known as anti-reflux surgery, to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heart surgery
  • Kidney transplant
  • Spine surgery
  • Splenectomy to remove the spleen
  • Nephrectomy (kidney removal)

Minimally invasive surgery can also be employed for more general surgeries, which includes:

  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Cancer surgery, such as, to eliminate a tumour
  • Gastroenterologic surgery, such as gastric bypass
  • Endovascular surgery to treat or repair an aneurysm
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Thoracic surgery, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery) head and neck surgery
  • Urologic surgery

Emerged in the 1980s, minimally invasive surgery is now considered as a safe and effective technique to meet the medical needs of many patients. Many patients have started to prefer this approach over traditional or open surgery in the last 20 years. This is because those surgeries require larger incisions and, therefore, a longer hospital stay.

Since the emergence of minimally invasive surgical techniques, their use has expanded widely in many surgical specialities including lung surgery and colon surgery. You must talk to your healthcare provider regarding whether you would be a good candidate for this surgical approach.


While both laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery are minimally invasive techniques, the primary advantage of robotic surgery over laparoscopic techniques is that the surgeon is able to visualise the operative field in 3D mode. On the other hand, with laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon is only able to visualise the surgical site in 2-D. It is also equipped with “motion scaling” software that enables the surgeon to perform delicate techniques more precisely.

The main advantages of robotic surgery, when compared to open surgery include:

  • Lesser damage to skin, muscles, and tissue
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Smaller risk of infection
  • Shorter, less painful recovery time
  • Smaller, less visible scars

Robotic surgery, or robotic-assisted surgery, is performed with an electronic operating station that is similar to a computer. From this station, the surgeon or doctor controls an HD camera and robotic arms that are used to perform the surgery.

For most robotic-assisted surgeries, your surgeon or doctor will:

  • Use anaesthesia to help you stay asleep throughout the surgery.
  • Set up tools to be used by the robotic arms during the surgery.
  • Stitch the incisions shut once the procedure is done.
  • Make several small incisions where tools will be inserted.
  • Insert tools attached to the robotic arms into your body through the incisions.
  • Perform the operation with the robotic arms while looking at endoscope images on the screen.
  • Insert a narrow tube with a light and camera on it, called an endoscope, through another incision. This allows them to see the area they’re operating on.
  • Remove all tools from the incisions.

Many surgeries can be performed using robotic-assisted approach, including those used to treat problems involving the heart and lungs, such as repair of heart valves, mitral valve prolapse, treatment for atrial fibrillation, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney blockage, kidney cysts, and kidney failure.

  • Gynecologic system
    Ovarian cysts, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, removal of the ovaries, and removal of the uterus can be treated with minimally invasive surgical techniques.
  • Digestive system
    Stomach cancer, liver cancer, gallbladder cancer, and rectal or colon cancer can be treated with minimally invasive techniques.
  • Other general areas where minimally invasive techniques are used include gallbladder stones or infections, pancreatic cancer, gastric bypass for obesity, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Risks of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery employs smaller surgical incisions and it is usually less risky than conventional surgeries. However, even with minimally invasive surgeries, there are risks of complications due to bleeding, anaesthesia, and infection.

Laparoscopy or diagnostic laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that is used to examine the organs inside the abdomen as well as other enclosed spaces including the knees. It is a low risk procedure that is minimally invasive and requires only small incisions.

When an abdominal laparoscopy is done, a healthcare provider employs an instrument known as a laparoscope to visualise the abdominal organs. A laparoscope is a thin, long tube with a high intensity light and a high resolution camera at the front. The instrument is introduced via an incision in the abdominal wall. As it moves along, the camera sends images to a video monitor.

A laparoscopy lets your doctor visualise the inside of your body in real time, without the need to make large incisions. Your healthcare provider can also derive samples of tissue during a biopsy in the same procedure, as well as also perform surgery.

A laparoscopy is often employed to recognise and diagnose the source of abdominal or pelvic pain. It is generally performed when noninvasive methods fail to help with diagnosis.

In many cases, abdominal problems can also be detected with imaging techniques like:

  • CT scan - a series of special X-rays that produce images of the body.
  • Ultrasound - it uses high frequency sound waves to produce body images.
  • MRI scan - it used radio waves and magnets to create images of the body.

A laparoscopy is done when these tests do not provide enough insight or information for a diagnosis. The procedure may also be employed to take a tissue biopsy, or tissue sample, from a particular organ in the abdomen.

Your doctor may recommend a laparoscopy to examine the following organs:

  • Gallbladder
  • Appendix
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Small intestine and large intestine (colon)
  • Pelvic or reproductive organs
  • Stomach

By observing these areas with a laparoscope, your doctor may detect a liver disease, fluid in the abdominal cavity, an abdominal tumour or mass, the degree to which a particular cancer has progressed, and the effectiveness of certain treatments. Your doctor may also be able to perform an intervention to treat your condition immediately after diagnosis.

You must discuss any concerns you have with your doctor. Here are some common questions:

  • Is it a better option than open surgery for me?
  • Is surgery a better option for me than medication or antibiotics?
  • How much pain will I feel after?
  • How long will I spend recovering from the surgery?
  • Is it a better solution or treatment for my condition?
  • Is it any more risky than open surgery for me?

These days, minimally invasive surgeries are becoming commoner than conventional surgeries. Endoscopic and robotic technology is advancing quickly, too, so that these surgeries are safe for you and easier for you.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, is one of the top multi-speciality hospitals in Indore. Our team of experienced specialists uses the most advanced technology to perform minimally invasive surgeries in Indore. Consult top medical experts in Indore for their optimum treatment and management services. Our team of specialists at the Department of Minimal Access Surgery is equipped to handle several kinds of minimally invasive surgeries with great outcomes.