MIS Questions

  • Q: What is minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?
    A:
    Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) refers to a variety of procedures that can be done with small (less than 1 inch) incisions rather than a single large incision. The exact number of small incisions depends upon the type of surgery. Specially designed surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions. One of these instruments is a tiny camera called a laparoscope. It enables video images from inside the body to display on a screen that the surgeon watches as he or she operates. Because of this tool, MIS is also known as “laparoscopic surgery.” The small incisions typically heal faster, leave less scarring, and allow patients to return to their normal activities more quickly.

    Q: What conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?
    A:
    Your primary care doctor may refer you to Memorial Minimally Invasive Surgery for the treatment of obesity, gallstones, hernia, reflux or severe heartburn, colorectal problems, trouble swallowing, disorders of the spleen or adrenal gland, or other gastrointestinal tract disorders that may require a surgical approach.

    Q: What should I bring to my consultation with the minimally invasive surgeon?
    A:
    Bring any medical records you have from other physicians, including X-rays or CDs with medical images on them. It's also a good idea to bring a list of questions you want to ask.

    Q: Will my insurance cover my minimally invasive surgical procedure?
    A:
    In general, minimally invasive surgery is covered just as other surgeries are covered. However, before undergoing any medical procedure, you should speak with your insurance company to make sure you fully understand your coverage.

    Q: Will I be able to go home the day of my surgery?
    A:
    Not all patients are able to go home the same day. The length of time you spend in the hospital after surgery depends on the procedure. Your physician will discuss this information with you.

    Q: What do I need to bring with me to surgery?
    A:
    Bring comfortable clothing, a list of all medications you are currently taking (both prescription and over-the-counter drugs), your health insurance card, your driver's license, and if you have them, your advance directives. If you will be staying overnight at the hospital, you should also bring personal essentials (toothbrush, shampoo, shaving cream, razor, deodorant, soap, etc.), pajamas, a favorite blanket or pillow, and books or magazines to read. More information about your hospital stay.

    Q: What are the possible complications of minimally invasive surgery?
    A:
    Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. With minimally invasive surgery, there is a risk of injury to other organs, bleeding during and after the surgery, infection, and allergic reactions to the anesthesia or medications. There is a chance that a minimally invasive procedure may be changed to an open procedure. All of these complications are rare. Please discuss any concerns with your surgeon.

    Q: How many days will I be out of work?
    A:
    Most patients are able to return to work within one or two weeks. The majority of patients are able to function and perform basic tasks after a few days. The speed of your recovery depends on the type of procedure you have and your overall health. Your surgeon will give you more information.

    Q: Will you be using a laser to do my surgery?
    A:
    No. The minimally invasive technique uses a laparoscope. This is a camera that is inserted through a small incision. Surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions. The operation is carried out just as it would have been done in a traditional open surgery, except that we avoid the need for a large incision.

    Q: Will I be able to shower after the operation?
    A:
    Most patients are able to shower within 48 hours of surgery.

    If you have additional questions before or after surgery, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or your nurse.