Minimally invasive surgery — also called arthroscopic surgery — is a type of medical procedure that uses small incisions and cameras to visualize surgical sites, rather than large incisions like traditional open surgeries.
With small incisions, your risk of infection decreases, and you have a reduced recovery time compared to open surgeries.
Different types of minimally invasive surgeries are available to remove damaged tissues from your joints or insert prosthetic devices for joint replacement.
To determine if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, the Aretmis Health team performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical records and imaging, including X-rays and MRIs.
Not all procedures can be performed arthroscopically, so your doctor explains your options based on your diagnosis.
Conditions that can benefit from minimally invasive surgery include:
Minimally invasive procedures are typically recommended for less complex procedures that are shorter in duration or have less risk of complications. They are also most often outpatient procedures.
If you have a heart condition, take blood thinners, or are overweight, your doctor might not recommend minimally invasive surgery.
During an arthroscopic procedure, your doctor uses anesthesia to put you to sleep in the operating room at the hospital. Once you’re asleep, they make a few small incisions about an inch in length to access the surgical site.
Your doctor inserts a thin fiber-optic camera with a light into your joint to visually examine the area. Your doctor then inserts tiny surgical tools through the incisions to perform the surgery.
Once they finish the surgery, your doctor removes the surgical tools and fiber-optic camera and closes your incisions with surgical tape or glue before you wake up from anesthesia.
Recovery typically takes 6-12 weeks, depending on the location and extent of the surgery you need. The team works with you during your recovery so that you get follow-up care when you need it and can begin physical therapy as soon as possible to aid in your recovery.
Once healed, your doctor allows you to return to your regular activities. You may need to ease into exercise or sports slowly as your range of motion improves, and your muscles become stronger after your surgery.
Find out if an arthroscopic procedure is right for you by calling Aretmis Health now.