If your doctor has recommended endoscopy . . .
Endoscopy is a surgical technique that involves the use of an endoscope, a special viewing instrument that allows a surgeon to see images of the body's internal structures through very small incisions.
Endoscopic surgery has been used for decades in a number of different procedures, including gallbladder removal and knee surgery and plastic surgery instruments have recently been introduced. Plastic surgeons believe the technique holds great promise.
An endoscope consists of two basic parts: A tubular probe fitted with a tiny camera and a bright light, which is inserted through a small incision; and a viewing screen, which magnifies the transmitted images of the body's internal structures. During surgery, the surgeon watches the screen while moving the tube of the endoscope through the surgical area.
It's important to understand that the endoscope functions as a viewing device only. To perform the surgery, a separate surgical instrument--such as a scalpel, scissors, or forceps--must be inserted through a different point of entry and manipulated within the tissue.
Advantages of endoscopy
All surgery carries risks and every incision leaves a scar. However, with endoscopic surgery, your scars are likely to be hidden, much smaller and some of the after effects of surgery may be minimized.
In a typical endoscopic procedure, only a few small incisions, each less than one inch long, are needed to insert the endoscope probe and other instruments. For some procedures, such as breast augmentation, only two incisions may be necessary. For others, such as a banding or gallbladder usrgery, three or more short incisions may be needed. The tiny "eye" of the endoscope's camera allows a surgeon to view the surgical site almost clearly as if the skin were opened from a long incision.
Because the incisions are shorter with endoscopy, the risk of sensory loss from nerve damage is decreased. Also, bleeding, bruising and swelling may be significantly reduced. With the endoscopic approach, you may recover more quickly and return to work earlier than if you had undergone open surgery.
Endoscopic surgery may also allow you to avoid an overnight hospital stay. Many endoscopic procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your doctor.
In endoscopic surgery, a probe with a tiny camera transmits images inside the body to a video monitor.
And, keep in mind that if a complication occurs at any time during the operation your surgeon may have to switch to an open procedure, which will result in a more extensive scar and a longer recovery period. However, to date, such complications are rare--estimated to occur in less that 5 percent of all endoscopy procedures.
Our three dimensional camera and high resolution monitors represent the latest advances in endoscopic technology enhancing your chances of achieving the best results.