When Should You Consider Minimally Invasive Surgery?

December 10, 2014

The word “surgery” is not most people’s favorite. It means that your tissue will be cut and your body will be “invaded” by foreign objects in order to correct a particular physiologic feature. Or does it? While the advent of laparoscopic and other less-invasive surgeries have yielded surgical success rates that far exceed those related to traditional surgeries of the past, they are still an unnatural intrusion into the body.

We often feel that patients jump too quickly at the option of surgery (typically the quickest method of treatment) when time, their bodies and Mother Nature can work togetherto heal a particular issue naturally and with much less risk.

Doctor Holding Scalpel

Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Noninvasive Surgery Doesn’t Mean There is No Risk Involved

Sometimes, we feel like the words noninvasive surgery are used to appear synonymous with zero-risk surgery, and this simply isn’t the case. There is no such thing as a no-risk surgery. Even the simplest of procedures have inherent risks involved for the simple reason that every human body is different; people respond to anesthesia, sedatives and shock differently. Also, surgeons are human beings and although they operate with the utmost concern for their patients’ safety, mistakes do happen.

Even the smallest of incisions can still leave a scar or become infected and a person who has never reacted to a particular drug or anesthetic in the past may develop a serious and unpredictable allergic reaction sometime in the future. Fort these reasons, we always advise that you take the utmost care in determining which noninvasive surgeries you choose to undergo.

Here are some guidelines for you to use when deciding whether or not to receive a non-invasive surgery:

The existing condition causes chronic pain or discomfort. If you suffer from a condition such as ovarian cysts, fibroids or endometriosis, there is a chance that your condition causes you pain or discomfort a majority of the time. If this is the case, you may decide your physical comfort and well-being trump any minimal risks associated with the procedure.

Your existing condition puts you at risk for further complications. Certain conditions may put you at risk for other, more serious medical complications or undesirable conditions. For example, severe endometriosis or chronic fibroid tumors may put you at risk for ectopic pregnancy or can make it more difficult for you to conceive. Using noninvasive surgery to treat these conditions may be of benefit.

Your doctor recommends a tissue biopsy. There may be a time where an abnormal pap smear results in  a follow-up appointment. If this is the case, your doctor will probably schedule a colposcopy to further investigate matters. If she finds cells that raise red flags during your colposcopy, she may recommend a tissue biopsy to see if the cells are cancerous. It’s almost always advisable that you move ahead with a biopsy since the earlier cervical cancer (or any cancer, for that matter) is detected, the better.

It’s an alternative to traditional, more invasive surgical procedures. Certain procedures, such as tubal ligations (having your tubes tied) or hysterectomies can be performed using traditional or non-invasive methods. In most cases, if you’re a candidate, the least invasive method is optimal to reduce the risk of complications and boost your recovery time. However, there are exceptions to this and sometimes non-invasive techniques, like the ones used for tubal ligation, can have higher risks for certain complications such as nicking the bladder or bowels.

When in doubt, forgo an immediate decision and give yourself a time to thoroughly research the options. In most cases, a matter of a few days, weeks or even months won’t make a difference (always check with your doctor regarding the recommended timeline). You can also ask for a second  – or third – opinion. The most important thing is that you feel confident in your choice to have a noninvasive surgical procedure as a treatment option.

Are you looking for a second opinion regarding a gynecological condition that may require surgery? Schedule an appointment with Women’s Health Associates. We’ll be happy to review your records and provide our best opinion.