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Minimally Invasive and Single Incision Techniques

The term "minimally invasive" refers to procedures that are less invasive than traditional open techniques. Minimally invasive techniques involve technology such as laparoscopy, arthroscopy, endoscopy, cystoscopy, and in some cases, robotics. More surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques than ever before and new minimally invasive technology will only continue to emerge.

Minimally invasive procedures involve less trauma to organs and tissue. Patients experience numerous benefits:

  • Less bleeding and less chance of needing a blood transfusion
  • A smaller incision
  • Less pain and less need for pain medications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Less chance of complications, such as infection

Minimally invasive techniques are available for many varied surgical procedures in numerous specialties, including but not limited to cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, orthopedics, pulmonology, urogynecology, urology, and more. Minimally invasive procedures are used in breast surgery; colorectal surgeries; hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures; gallbladder removal, appendectomy and other abdominal procedures; tonsillectomy; heart surgery; joint replacement and joint repair; bariatrics (weight-loss surgery); and more.

Single-incision procedures

Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) involves procedures that are completed through one port inserted in the navel, to minimize scarring. These procedures are highly technical, and require specialized training. Single-site techniques may be employed with laparoscopy or robotics. A specialized equipment platform for the da Vinci surgical systems allows for robotic-assisted single-site procedures, including hysterectomy and gallbladder removal.

Among single-site procedures at Avera McKennan:

  • Gynecologic procedures and hysterectomy
  • Gallbladder removal – cholecystectomy
  • Colon resection
  • Appendectomies