Technological advancements have greatly transformed medicine & the healthcare industry by bridging the gap between ideation of innovative techniques and its eventual, physical execution.
One such niche which has benefited & developed parallelly is known as Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). Procedures such as Arthroscopy, Endoscopy, Laparoscopy & robotic surgeries are the most common forms of this technique which is defined by ‘a reduced number of incisions, lacerations or external entry of foreign objects to perform a certain surgical operation.’
As evident by its name, MIS procedures allow doctors & surgeons to perform complex operations with as minimal damage to the human body as possible. Various benefits exist allowing for the sharp growth & preference of MIS today:
- Reduced trauma to the patient’s tissues.
- Relatively lower blood loss.
- Shorter hospitalization spans leading to quicker post-op recovery times.
- Minimal external scarring.
- Lesser pain during & post-surgery.
- Lower chance of complications mid-procedure.
management of limited time for doctors.
Having said that, the initial cost of investment in state-of-the-art equipment and recurring maintenance charges can be quite steep and specialized personnel training requires a large amount time & exclusive infrastructure to be set up. Ultimately, the slew of advantages for both patients and doctors alike outweigh the few possible hinderances to the continued adoption of MIS worldwide.
With MIS climbing its way towards the top of the agenda within surgical circles, let’s also briefly look into the wide array of technology whose integration has allowed a concept to transition into reality.
- VISUALIZATION or CAMERAS:
Illumination is usually provided by LED’s or xenon lamps at the ends of fiber-optics while the minute size & affordability of evolving CMOS sensors allow tiny cameras to be inserted for such operations.
Real-time high definition video is monitored by the entire surgical team allowing for formulation of 3-D imagery for guidance and possible assessment of tissue texture through color correction which was unimaginable a decade prior.
- TOOLS & ROBOTICS:
Robots fitted with advanced 3D recording systems & minute instruments with dexterity & flexibility far greater than human capabilities are slowly finding their way into mainstream surgeries. The most famous, the da Vinci surgical system has been applied in an estimated 8 million+ operations traversing urology to cardiology. Surgeons are now capable of performing procedures remotely with the use of robotics which are predicted to have huge military benefits. Developments in the field have also allowed integration of haptic feedback encompassing sensations like force, pressure, temperature, texture and audio-visual cues hence combining the human touch with increased accuracy.
- VIRTUAL REALITY (VR):
Ideal for educational & training purposes, surgeries can be streamed & recorded without the constant interference of novice students leaning over doctors’ shoulders. Adoption of VR by leading institutions and medical schools is imminent as it provides a framework to elevate practical learning. Such opportunities could go a long in increasing the proficiency of upcoming surgeons.
- AUGUMENTED REALITY (AR):
An enhanced version of the real, physical world by overlaying digital visual elements, sounds or any other sensory stimulus made possible through technology. This can enable doctors to overcome shortcomings such as limited view of the internal parts of the human body by layers of the organs & complex pathways superimposed during surgery. AR has the potential to absolutely revolutionize surgical procedures by exponentially increasing the quantity of data available pre & during the course of extremely risky, fragile procedures.
To delve deeper into the field of Minimally Invasive Surgery, stay tuned & watch this space as we bring you enriching articles each week in the buildup to the 2nd ANNUAL MARKETSANDMARKETS MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY COINFERENCE scheduled for the 14th– 15th of September in London, UK.