Your Mayo Clinic doctor may recommend minimally invasive surgery — also called laparoscopic surgery — for several conditions. In minimally invasive procedures, your doctor makes one or more incisions, each about a half-inch long, to insert a tube. The number of incisions depends on the type of surgery. The tube or tubes let the doctor slip in tiny video cameras and specially designed surgical instruments to perform the procedure.

When you have minimally invasive surgery, you're likely to lose less blood and have less postoperative pain, fewer and smaller scars, and a faster recovery than you would after open surgery. Depending on your condition, you may need only a short hospital stay.

For some conditions, your doctor may recommend robotic surgery. That technology gives your doctor great precision, flexibility and control by providing a magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site.

Types

Mayo Clinic doctors perform many kinds of minimally invasive surgery. Your doctor can tell you about procedures that are appropriate for your condition.

  • Adrenalectomy to remove one or both adrenal glands
  • Anti-reflux surgery, sometimes called hiatal hernia repair, to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Chest (thoracic) surgery
  • Colectomy to remove parts of a diseased colon
  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery
  • Endovascular surgery to perform vascular procedures, such as repairing an aneurysm
  • Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) to remove gallstones that cause pain
  • Gastroenterologic and general surgery
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Heart surgery
  • Nephrectomy to remove a kidney as treatment or for donation
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Splenectomy to remove the spleen
  • Urologic surgery

Read more about cholecystectomy, colectomy, nephrectomy and splenectomy.

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors have been leaders in minimally invasive surgery for many years and perform thousands of the procedures every year.
  • Expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists have pioneered a number of advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgery.
  • Team approach. Integrated teams of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals work together with a focus on continually improving patient care and safety.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in minimally invasive surgery for heart disease, colon disorders, women's reproductive conditions, urinary disorders, cancer and other conditions treat people at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in minimally invasive surgery for heart disease, colon disorders, women's reproductive conditions, urinary disorders, cancer and other conditions treat people at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in minimally invasive surgery for heart disease, colon disorders, women's reproductive conditions, urinary disorders, neurological problems, cancer and other conditions treat people at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic researchers study minimally invasive surgery techniques for many conditions and disorders. Read more about research at Mayo Clinic.

Publications

See a list of publications about minimally invasive surgery by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Jan. 10, 2010