Minimally-Invasive Surgeries Increasingly Opted by Patients and Professionals Alike
Very few people look forward to surgery for the simple fact that most of us don’t exactly enjoy having our bodies cut open and our insides exposed. The late Steve Jobs skipped potentially life-saving surgery immediately after being diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer that killed him, out of fear of having his body “violated.” That’s an expected reaction to an otherwise incredibly valuable medical technology. Such a situation goes against all survival instinct. Yet in many situations it is surgery itself that is key to survival. Indeed, surgery has been an enormously useful albeit disturbingly hazardous human process for thousands of years.
It is due to these basic human fears and the hazards that back them up that traditional “open” surgery is increasingly being bypassed in favor of minimally-invasive measures. Not everything that requires surgery can be done with minimal “violation” of tissue, but many common procedures such as appendectomies and gallbladder surgery are done so laparoscopically; smaller incisions are made using intricate instruments as opposed to larger more centralized incisions made with a surgeon’s hands in mind. It’s optimal from a completely professional point-of-view, in that such procedures tend to take less time, involve less steps, and are less expensive to insure against.
But the ultimate goal for surgeons and patients alike is for procedures to be developed that utilize the body’s natural orifices, according to endoscopic surgeon Dr Hrayr Shahinian. He and others who specialize in skull base surgeries opt to do so through the nasal passages instead of exposing such a sensitive part of the body through open surgery. Not only are such surgical strategies better for a patient’s psychology going into the operating room, but perhaps more importantly they decrease the dangers that cause fears to exist in the first place.
Will such seemingly advanced forms of surgery lead to even more revolutionary ways to re-work the inner functions of the human body without opening it up? Nobody can say for sure, but two things are certain: medical science is only improving, and surgical instruments are only getting smaller. In the future, it will only be more likely that surgery will rarely even require a person have to risk their body actually being cut open.