What is considered minimally invasive surgery?
The term minimally invasive surgery refers to surgical procedures performed through multiple small incisions rather than an “open” surgical technique. Incisions made during minimally invasive procedures are typically a few millimeters long. A thin tube with a camera and light is inserted through one incision. The camera sends images to monitors in the operating room. Images are used to guide other surgical instruments to the appropriate area to repair, remove, or replace damaged tissue.
What are the advantages of minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery has several advantages. These include:
The incisions necessary for minimally invasive procedures need only accommodate cameras, tubes, and small surgical instruments. The fiber-optic cameras used during surgery provide visualization of the surgical site.
Smaller incisions mean less bleeding and swelling during surgery. The use of tubes, cameras, and fiber-optics eliminates the need to make large incisions and cut through muscle tissue. Minimally invasive techniques are less traumatic to internal structures, including tendons, nerves, and muscle tissue. Because the incisions are small, there is also a lower risk of infection than there is with traditional open surgery.
Though there may be exceptions, minimally invasive surgeries are often performed on an outpatient basis. Patients are ready to go home a few hours after their procedure. If a procedure takes place in a hospital inpatient setting, the length of hospitalization is usually shorter than for those who have traditional surgical care.
There are often fewer post-operative restrictions for patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery. Patients tend to experience less pain and swelling after surgery and are able to resume normal activities within days rather than weeks. With increased comfort, patients who get minimally invasive surgery often do not need narcotic pain medications, or they need them for only a day or two before they can transition to over-the-counter pain relief.
Areas & Injuries That We Treat With Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Rotator cuff tears
- Shoulder instability/dislocations/labral tears
- Shoulder arthritis
- AC joint injury
- SLAP tear/biceps tendon tear
- Frozen shoulder
- Subacromial impingement
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- ACL tear
- Meniscus tear
- Multi-ligamenet knee injury
- Cartilage restoration
- Patella instability
- Patellofemoral pain
- Ankle sprain/instability
- Osteochondral lesion
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Ankle fracture
- Femoroacetabular impingement
- Hamstring tendon injury
- Cartilage Injury
Is minimally invasive surgery safe?
Minimally invasive surgery is generally considered safe. The smaller incisions made during minimally invasive procedures present less risk than the longer incisions made using traditional techniques. Surgical risks related to anesthesia, bleeding, and infection still exist but are minimal.
Is minimally invasive surgery covered by insurance?
Surgical procedures that are medically necessary are typically covered by insurance. Patients should contact their medical insurance company directly to obtain details related to their plan.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
For more information on minimally invasive surgery options or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Matt Crawford, give us a call today at (512) 246-4488 or click here to fill out an online contact form. Our practice serves Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock and the surrounding areas of Texas.