Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) offers some cancer patients an alternative to traditional open surgical procedures. This next generation of surgery can be performed through access incisions less than an inch in size.

RPCI surgeons, equipped with pencil-sized cameras and instruments, have performed increasingly more complex MIS procedures across a number of surgical specialties over the last few years.

MIS, sometimes referred to as laparoscopic or “keyhole” surgery, has experienced rapid growth over the past five years and has become the gold standard for some procedures. This type of cutting-edge medicine promises patients a better surgical experience while promoting patient well-being and enhancing healing. Minimally invasive alternatives usually result in less pain and trauma, decreased risk of blood loss and infection, smaller scars, less time in the hospital, and a more rapid recovery time.

For most MIS procedures, the surgeon uses a small telescope attached to a miniature camera and a light source that allows the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body. The surgeon removes the tumor or repairs the area by passing tiny surgical instruments through other small incisions.

RPCI’s MIS Center consists of two fully integrated MIS operating rooms (OR). One of the two new suites features surgical robotics. Both suites can fully accommodate any MIS or open cancer surgery. These rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art digital video, voice-activated equipment, and telemedicine capability. The rooms are ergonomically optimized using overhanging equipment booms and flat-panel digital displays. Nurses use fully-integrated nursing stations with touch screen control of all essential OR functions.

Simply developing and using new minimally invasive techniques during surgery is not enough. The medical community and health insurers demand proof that MIS is more effective than standard therapy. RPCI will lead the way through clinical trials and research studies in documenting the viability of the new surgical therapies for the treatment of cancer.