There are just certain phrases that are more likely to fill you with dread — such as we need to talk… you’ve just missed the plane… you need surgery. These phrases have such an impact because they make you nervous for the immediate future. But, when it comes to getting surgery, your worry may be for nothing. That’s because there are two main types of surgeries — minimally invasive and open. What are the differences? And, what are the benefits of one over the other?
Minimally Invasive vs Open Surgery
During open surgeries, a doctor typically makes one large incision to get a clear visual of the area and perform the procedure. During minimally invasive surgeries, small incisions are made and tiny flexible cameras and lights are inserted into the body to project an image onto a screen — assisting surgeons. Both surgeries are generally safe and effective, but open surgery tends to be related to longer hospital stays, larger scars, more pain, and other disadvantages.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive means less trauma or stress on the body. This means — by definition — that minimally invasive surgeries often produce shorter recovery times, smaller incisions, and less pain. Other common benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Lower costs
- Minimal pain medication reliance
- Fewer risks
- Less scarring
While minimally invasive surgeries seem optimal, they aren’t always an option. Some doctors may switch to an open procedure if it means improving the safety of a patient. In some cases, open surgery is a safer, more effective approach. Your doctor will be able to provide guidance on which surgery is your best alternative.
What conditions may require minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery isn’t the answer for all surgical procedures. But, some common causes include:
- Hip arthroscopy
- Knee arthroscopy
- Shoulder arthroscopy
- Carpal tunnel
- Rotator cuff repair
- Labral repair
- Spine conditions
- Anterior hip replacement
Recovery for Minimally Invasive Surgery
Depending on the cause of your minimally invasive surgery, your recovery should go relatively smoothly. Some patients are released from the hospital within hours, while others may have to stay a little longer. Once released, some patients are back to work within a few weeks, while others take four to six weeks to recover fully.
While pain for minimally invasive surgery is significantly less than open surgery, you may still feel uncomfortable. Your doctor can prescribe a treatment plan to ensure you experience minimal pain. You should expect some small scars post-recovery, but they’ll be significantly smaller than open surgery. Be sure to keep the area clean and follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce the risk of infection.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re experiencing orthopedic pain that requires surgery, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.