MIS or minimally invasive surgery is considered an advanced surgical procedure.
It makes use of miniscule cameras and fiber optic flashlights inserted through small incisions.
Minimally invasive surgery has become the treatment option of choice for many patients because of the many benefits it offers.
Some of these benefits include:
- Increased safety
- Recovery period is shorter
- Infection risk is lower
- Hospital stay is significantly reduced
- There is minimal scarring
However, since minimally invasive surgeries are still considered “new” as opposed to traditional open surgery, it is understandable that not many are familiar with the procedure.
For those who are likely candidates of minimally invasive surgery, it is important that they have covered all the bases and asked the important questions prior to the surgery.
Below are some of the essential questions patients need to ask:
What transpires during a minimally invasive procedure?
If you are clueless with the basics (let alone the specifics) of the operation, make sure to seek enlightenment from your surgeon.
For starters, you can ask where the incisions or the ports will be and how many will be needed in your case.
You can also inquire as to the number of hours the procedure will likely take.
What are the probable side effects of the procedure?
Understandably, majority, if not all the patients will experience pain post-surgery.
However, when dealing with minimally invasive procedures, the pain might not be where you expect it to be.
While not many are aware of it, ports or incisions made in minimally invasive procedures are sometimes far from the actual operation site.
In line with this, it is ideal that you check with your surgeon where you are likely to feel discomfort or pain, how long it will likely last, and how severe the pain or discomfort can be.
What preparations are needed prior to the surgery?
Ask your surgeon about any preparations you need to do a few hours or a day prior to the surgery.
Also, inquire if there are eating restrictions that you need to strictly adhere to.
As a general rule of thumb, you must know everything when it comes to what you can and can’t do and what are the things expected of you.
What happens if switching to open surgery becomes necessary?
In some scenarios, a surgeon may need to switch from a minimally invasive procedure to a conventional open one.
Make sure you are able to check with your surgeon if that is a possibility in your case.
In addition, ask about the likely side effects if ever that happens and the effect it might have on your time of recovery.
What medications are necessary?
In most cases, painkillers will be prescribed after the procedure.
Ensure you also ask about the probable side effects.
It is also recommended that you inform your surgeon if you are currently taking any maintenance medications or supplements.
You also need to ask as to the action you need to take in case the pain medication will not be able to provide the relief you expect.
How long will the recovery period be?
While some minimally invasive procedures are carried out on an outpatient basis, others are not.
To play safe, ask about the length of the expected recovery period so you will have realistic expectations and you can make any necessary adjustments.
Inquire if physical therapy will also be necessary after so you can prepare in advance.
What are the things you need to do after recovering?
Ask if there is a need for you to make follow-up appointments and the frequency of the visits you might need to make.
You can also ask if you will be needing additional surgery anytime in the near future.