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Minimally invasive or less invasive surgery is the FUTURE of medicine. For a majority of surgical procedures performed today, a shift has been made from traditional open surgery to the use of minimally invasive measures. Minimally invasive technology has not only changed the way doctors and surgeons perform surgeries but also the strategic approach to all surgeries. All of the surgical specialties ( general, thoracic, neuro, cardiac, urologic, gynecologic, plastics, vascular ), commonly employ a less invasive or minimally invasive approach if appropriate.

Minimally invasive or less invasive procedures had it's limitations until the introduction of the computer chip television camera. This technological innovation provided the means to project a real-time magnified view of the operative field onto a monitor, and at the same time freed both the operating surgeon's hands, thereby facilitating performance of complex laparoscopic procedures.

Gradually laparoscopy captured the imagination of general surgeons who saw great promise for use in other situations. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (removal of a diseased gall bladder using a laparoscope) was the most accepted of these applications, and all of a sudden surgeons were talking about Minimally Invasive Surgery. Thoracic surgeons (doctors who operate on the lungs and other organs inside the chest), were quick to follow suit. By employing an adapted laparoscope or thorascope the surgeons examined diseases of the lungs and esophagus, and performed minor operations using minimally invasive techniques. As they acquired experience and confidence, and as technological developments helped create better and more versatile instruments, further complex operations became possible using minimally invasive instrumentation.
Minimally invasive or less invasive techniques are already the approach of choice for many types of surgery, and experts predict that trend will continue. Many hospitals are at the forefront of developing and evaluating new minimally invasive techniques and technology as well as offering advanced training for less invasive techniques. As new and improved imaging systems and instruments are developed, surgeons will be able to perform more and more procedures endooscopically. Minimally invasive surgeries require the skill of a surgeon who has completed advanced laparoscopy training, therefore, an understanding of a surgeons training and experience is recommended prior to the procedure.
On the cutting edge of less invasive surgical technology is robotic assisted procedures. The da Vinci Surgical system enables and assists surgeons to perform certain less invasive procedures that were not possible or reproducible in the past. As stated on the Intuitive Surgical web site," The da Vinci® Surgical System allows surgeons to perform complex procedures through 1-2 cm incisions, which means that minimally invasive surgical therapies are now available to millions of patients. For most patients, minimally invasive procedures performed with the da Vinci Surgical System can offer numerous potential benefits over open-abdominal surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System can also be used across a broad range of general surgical procedures, including bariatric, esophageal and colorectal surgery.
In 1902 Georg Kelling performed the first laparoscopic surgical procedure in dogs and in 1910 Hans Christian Jacobaeus of Sweden was reported to perform the first laparoscopic procedure in humans. Within the last several decades, numerous individuals refined and popularized the approach further for laparoscopy.

Minimally Invasive surgery also known as "key hole" surgery is a surgical technique in which operations are performed through small holes or incisions using a specialized instrument or endoscope. The surgeon can directly visualize the area being operated on and also employ a variety of surgical instruments through the
scope. These endoscopic or less invasive procedures
can be done on virtually any organ system. 

The goal of less invasive surgery is to complete the procedure in a way that is easier on the patient's body, minimizing post-operative pain and scarring while speeding the healing process and reducing the likelihood of post-surgical complications. The discomfort, pain, and potential for disability or morbidity associated with conventional surgery is commonly due to the trauma associated in obtaining access to the area to perform the surgery rather than the surgery itself. The trauma involved in gaining access to the area of interest is greatly reduced using less invasive or minimally invasive techniques. There are many potential advantages of employing minimally invasive procedures over conventional or open surgical procedures if applicable such as less pain, blood loss, shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time.
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