Minimally Invasive Surgery
MD Anderson surgeons are constantly refining their techniques to treat cancer effectively while decreasing the physical impact of cancer surgery. Minimally invasive surgery techniques are being used to treat an increasing variety of cancers. Here are some of the minimally invasive procedures available at MD Anderson:
- Endoscopic thyroid surgery
- Endoscopic throat cancer surgery
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for lung and esophageal cancers
- Endoscopic skull base tumor surgery
What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive, or endoscopic, surgery takes advantage of advances in computer imaging and robotics to provide effective surgical cancer treatment with a much smaller impact on the patient.
An endoscope is a long, thin tube with special lighting and a narrow lens through which the surgeon can view organs and tissue inside of the body. The endoscope is inserted through tiny incisions, often less than an inch in length, near the tumor location. A microscope provides an excellent image of the tumor. Small, specialized surgical instruments are also inserted through small incisions so that the surgeon can perform the operation without an external incision.
Advantages of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Less blood loss
- Decreased need for blood transfusions
- Shorter hospital stays
- Decreased pain and need for postoperative pain medications
- Earlier resumption of regular diet
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
- Less scarring and improved cosmetic appearance
Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy (RALP)