Top 4 Surgical Advances Our Hospitals Should Know About

Written byTristanAnwyn Top 4 Surgical Advances Our Hospitals Should Know About Surgery is an ever-changing field. Keeping abreast of these advances is...

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|Jul 24|magazine11 min read

Written by Tristan Anwyn

 

Top 4 Surgical Advances Our Hospitals Should Know About

Surgery is an ever-changing field. Keeping abreast of these advances is a vital part of offering the most up to date care to patients across all disciplines.

Which surgical fields have made interesting advances that you should know about lately?

Here are some of the most up to date surgery developments.

Hip Replacements

Hip replacements are one of the most common orthopedic surgery procedures today. A hip replacement can make a huge difference to the mobility and quality of life of the patient in question.

Advances in surgical and imaging techniques are allowing surgeons to streamline the procedure, with the potential for less pain and a faster recovery.

A traditional hip replacement involves making a 10 or even 12 inch incision before removing the affected hip joint and inserting the replacement joint. A typical hospital stay is four or five days.

Minimally invasive hip replacements involve one or two smaller incisions (about three inches) and often take advantage of the most up to date surgical imaging techniques to help with placement of the new joint.

So far, the procedure has shown a shorter recovery time – patients can go home in a day or two – and less damage to the surrounding muscles.

Heart Bypass Surgery

This life saving procedure usually requires that the heart be stopped and the patient placed on a heart-lung machine in order to keep their blood flowing.

Although they are a necessary part of traditional heart bypass surgery, these machines can lead to complications, including strokes, seizures, and blood loss.

Advances in the field of cardiac surgery have led to the development of a heart bypass procedure which can be carried out on a heart which is still beating. This negates the need for a heart-lung machine. In addition, the incision that is needed for the surgery is considerably smaller than that needed for the traditional operation.

Patients who have a minimally invasive bypass can generally expect a faster recovery time and shorter stay, along with a reduced infection risk and less blood loss.

Hospitals are currently looking into whether minimally invasive surgery may make heart bypass a viable option for patients who are not considered well enough for a traditional bypass.

Gastrectomy Surgery

For patients afflicted with stomach cancer, a gastrectomy (stomach removal) can be a necessary step in removing the cancer and enabling them to return to live a healthy life.

The surgery is usually performed through a relatively large incision, and may involve a hospital stay of several days with a long recovery period. A new technique, called laparoscopic gastrectomy, has shown promising results in terms of recovery times and length of stay.

During a laparoscopic gastrectomy, the surgeon no longer has to open a large incision to remove the stomach, but can use a laparoscope – a tiny camera attached to a long tube which is inserted into the patient's mouth. The surgeon can control the movement of the laparoscope, allowing him to see where he is going. 

Although laparoscopic surgery can take longer to perform, patients may find they need less pain relief, suffer less complications, and can return home sooner than they would after a traditional gastrectomy.

Spinal Surgery

Spinal surgery traditionally involves the making of a five or six inch incision, to allow the surgeon to access the area of the spine that requires treatment. The subsequent pulling back of the muscles can weaken the area and lead to a long recovery time for patients.

Recent advances in spinal surgery techniques have led to the development of a much less invasive way of getting to the spine.

Instead of opening a long incision, a smaller instrument called a tubular retractor is used to open a tunnel through the soft tissues to the affected part of the spine. Small instruments can then be used to operate on the area in question.

This less invasive surgery can mean less postoperative pain and a shorter hospital stay for patients.

There are many advances being made in the surgical fields today.

There are common themes emerging across fields - a focus on less invasive surgeries, and a reduction in  the length of stay and amount of postoperative pain.

Keeping up to date with these advances will help your hospital to offer patients the latest and best procedures available today.

 

About the Author

Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, best paying careers today, and SEO.