General MIS

Below is a limited listing of the most common minimally invasive procedures performed at St. Dominic’s. To find out more, call 601-200-8000.

A colon resection removes a damaged or diseased part of the intestine. A colon resection might be done to treat a number of conditions: colorectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), colonic inertia, stricture of the colon and diverticulitis surgery.

The medical name for this procedure is colectomy.

The resection may be open, which means it is done with a conventional incision. An open colon resection usually involves a hospital stay of about five to seven days.

The procedure also can be done with minimally invasive surgery. This approach uses several small incisions. There are two kinds of minimally invasive surgery for colon resection: laparoscopic and robotic laparoscopic.

  • In laparoscopic surgery, a small lighted camera called a laparoscope and other instruments are inserted through the openings. A doctor operates the laparoscope and other instruments by hand.
  • Robotic laparoscopic surgery also uses several small incisions. The difference is that a doctor moves the surgical equipment using robotic arms from a computer near the operating table.

A minimally invasive colon resection usually requires a hospital stay of about three days. Minimally invasive surgery has many advantages over open surgery. Every surgery is different, a minimally invasive approach usually has:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Quicker return to eating solid food
  • Quicker return to normal bowel functioning
  • Quicker return to everyday activities
  • Better appearance after surgery

Most laparoscopic colon resections use about four or five openings of about a quarter-inch each. A tiny camera is inserted through one of the incisions and your doctor will watch an enlarged image of the surgery on a television monitor. Sometimes, one of the openings may need to be larger, up to two or three inches.

Complications are rare for colon resection, regardless of the process. When they do happen, though, they might include:

  • Infection
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Change in heart rate
  • Break in the wound
  • Pain

Your doctor will describe what to expect and how to recover as quickly as possible after the surgery.

Removal of a gallbladder was one of the first laparoscopic surgeries performed in the United States. It is still one of the most common types of laparoscopic surgery.

The medical name for this procedure is cholecystectomy.

The presence of gallstones is the most common reason for removing the gallbladder. Gallstones are hard and are made up of cholesterol and other materials. Gallstones can block the flow of bile, an important fluid for digesting fats, out of the gallbladder. When that happens, the gallbladder can swell and become painful.

At St. Dominic’s, most gallbladder removals are done with robotic laparoscopic surgery. The procedure uses instruments inserted into a small incision near the belly button. The doctor moves the surgical equipment using robotic arms from a computer near the operating table. Your surgeon will inflate your abdomen slightly with carbon dioxide to better see your gallbladder.

The surgery at St. Dominic’s is typically done on an outpatient basis, and you will go home the same day.

Sometimes, your doctor may begin a laparoscopic gallbladder removal but decide during the operation to continue with a traditional surgery. In that case, your doctor will use an incision about six inches long on the right side of your abdomen to remove the gallbladder.

The decision to convert from a laparoscopic to open gallbladder removal happens only about one percent of the time in healthy young people. It is more common, up to 30 percent of the time, among people who are:

  • Over 50 years old
  • Male
  • Experiencing acute inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Having repeated gallbladder attacks

The chance of an open surgery also is higher if you have had earlier abdominal operations.

After the surgery, your liver will produce enough bile for you to be able to digest fat. However, your doctor may recommend that you avoid fried food, whole-fat milk and cheese, or other high-fat foods, at least while you are recovering from surgery.

The appendix is a narrow, tube-shaped organ that attaches to the large intestine. Conventional wisdom states that the appendix has no function, but it’s possible it has a job boosting the immune system.

If the appendix is removed, other parts of the immune system take over its function.

Removing the appendix, an appendectomy, is the most common emergency procedure. It is usually done when the appendix has or is suspected of having an infection, a condition known as appendicitis. It may be possible to treat appendicitis with antibiotics, but surgery is more likely to be successful.

At St. Dominic’s, your doctor likely will recommend that the appendectomy be done laparoscopically. In a laparoscopic operation, the procedure involves about three incisions of less than an inch in the lower-right side of the abdomen. A small lighted camera called a laparoscope and other instruments are inserted into the abdomen through these small openings. Your doctor will describe the number and location of the incisions for your particular surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages. It usually means less pain, a shorter recovery period, and a more attractive appearance after the surgery.

Not every appendectomy can be done laparoscopically. If the appendix is very infected or about to burst, it might be necessary to remove it with a longer, traditional incision.

Your doctor may decide after starting a laparoscopic surgery to switch to a traditional surgery. Things that make a traditional surgery more likely include:

  • An extensive infection and/or abscess
  • A perforated appendix
  • Obesity
  • Scar tissue
  • Difficulty seeing internal organs
  • Bleeding problems

Most people are encouraged to get up and walk around the day after a laparoscopic appendectomy. You should be able to resume normal activities within a week or two. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how make sure you heal as quickly as possible.

A hernia is a gap or weakness in the muscle or tissue that surrounds your body’s internal organs. The gap can allow an organ or fatty tissue to push outward and create a bulge.

Common places for a hernia to appear are the groin and near the belly button. Often, a hernia will form at the site of a previous operation.

Hernias can be harmless and painless, but they do not get better by themselves. Often, hernias need to be repaired with surgery. In some cases, as when the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall, a hernia can be dangerous and should be repaired quickly.

At St. Dominic’s, hernia repair is usually done laparoscopically, with three or more small incisions near the site of the hernia. A small lighted camera called a laparoscope and other instruments are inserted through these openings. The abdomen is inflated to allow your doctor to better see the surgery site.

Your doctor may perform the laparoscopic surgery robotically. Robotic laparoscopic surgery also uses several small incisions. The difference is that a doctor moves the surgical equipment using robotic arms from a computer near the operating table.

The repair is typically done by suturing the gap together and closing the incision. Your doctor may attach mesh internally to strengthen the repair.

A hernia can be repaired with a traditional, or open, surgery that uses a single conventional incision. An open surgery might be necessary if the hernia is complicated. One example is when a piece of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall and is squeezed off from the blood supply.

At St. Dominic’s, small hernias can usually be repaired with outpatient laparoscopic surgery. Larger hernia repairs, such as those along the site of a previous operation, might require a hospital stay of one to two days.

Sometimes, a doctor may begin a laparoscopic procedure but decide during the surgery to switch to a traditional operation. The reasons for converting to a traditional surgery include:

  • Obesity
  • Scar tissue
  • Difficulty seeing internal organs
  • Bleeding problems

The risks of hernia repair are very low. Your doctor will describe how to avoid an infection and deal with any pain from the procedure. There is a risk the hernia may come back, but that risk is much lower if mesh is used.

Laparoscopic hernia repair is usually done with outpatient surgery. You likely will be able to go home the same day. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how make sure you heal as quickly as possible.

The bladder is hollow organ in the abdomen just behind the pubic bone used to store urine. When it’s empty, it is about the size and shape of a pear.

Treating bladder cancer is usually is done by removing the organ. The procedure, a cystectomy, can be done in several ways. A traditional, or open, surgery, involves a single incision. Minimally invasive surgery, by comparison, uses several small incisions.

There are two kinds of minimally invasive surgery for removal of the prostate: laparoscopic and robotic laparoscopic.

  • In laparoscopic surgery, a small lighted camera called a laparoscope and other instruments are inserted through the openings. A doctor operates the laparoscope and other instruments by hand.
  • Robotic laparoscopic surgery also uses several small incisions. The difference is that a doctor moves the surgical equipment using robotic arms from a computer near the operating table.

Laparoscopic surgery, either with or without the assistance of robotic arms, generally produces better surgical outcomes than a traditional surgery. The recovery process months afterward is similar. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery generally are less blood loss and pain during the surgery and a better appearance.

A robotic laparoscopic surgery generally takes longer than a traditional procedure may be difficult for a patient who is very thin or very large.

If the disease or injury is small enough, your doctor may choose to remove just part of the bladder. Your bladder still functions after the surgery, but you may have to urinate more frequently. If the bladder is completely removed, your doctor will discuss your options, including a separate surgery to reconstruct the functions of the bladder.

In some cases, a surgery that begins with the intent to remove just part of the bladder changes to removal of all of the bladder after the surgery has begun. In some operations, a doctor converts the laparoscopic procedure to an open surgery with a traditional incision. The chances of these changes are low, and your doctor will describe what might cause them.

In both men and women, removal of the bladder might damage nerves that affect a person’s sexual functioning. As with all surgery, there is a risk of infection or pain after surgery. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how make sure you heal as quickly as possible.