Minimally Invasive Surgery

A minimally invasive surgical procedure typically involves use of endoscopic devices — miniature cameras on long optical cables — and remote-control of instruments with indirect observation of the surgical field through an endoscope or display panel. Although this procedure can be theoretically used for many types of operations, it is generally preferred in surgeries involving the abdomen and pelvic region (using the laparoscope) and the joints or spine (using the arthroscope). When it is performed in the chest cavity, it is called thorascopic surgery. It may even be used as a component of transplant surgery; the stages of preparing an organ for removal from a live donor are done endoscopically and the incision site widened to take out the organ.
At Houston Methodist, we use these minimally invasive surgical techniques to help you recover more quickly from your surgery with less scarring, bleeding and pain.
In most minimally invasive procedures, your surgeon will make several small three-quarter inch incisions and insert thin tubes. Carbon dioxide gas may be pumped in to inflate the area and create a small space between your internal organs and skin. The endoscope (with the camera) is placed through one of the tubes to be able to see the surgical site. Specialized instruments are inserted through the other incisions. After the procedure is finished, your surgeon may only need a band-aid or surgical glue to close the incisions because they are so small.
We also train surgeons in minimally invasive techniques at Houston Methodist. The goal of our surgical teaching program focuses on exposing surgeons to the skills they need to be successful in clinical practice, to achieve excellence in surgical care.