In minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use a variety of techniques to operate with less injury to the body than with open surgery. In general, it is safer than open surgery and allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. Minimally invasive surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis or requires only a short hospital stay.

Laparoscopy — surgery done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny video cameras and surgical instruments — was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgery. Another type of minimally invasive surgery is robotic surgery. It provides a magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site, which gives the surgeon great precision, flexibility and control.

Continual innovations in minimally invasive surgery make it useful for an ever-expanding list of procedures.

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic surgeons have been leaders in minimally invasive surgery for many years and perform thousands of the procedures every year, including about 1,500 robot-assisted surgeries.
  • New and better techniques. Mayo Clinic researchers and specialists constantly seek ways to improve minimally invasive surgery and apply it to patient care.
  • Specialized teams. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are committed to working together to provide expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. If there is a way to meet patients' needs with minimal risk and discomfort, Mayo Clinic's team of experts is likely to know how to do it.

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

Talk with your doctor about whether minimally invasive surgery is the best option for you. Surgeons perform many minimally invasive surgeries, including:

  • Adrenalectomy to remove one or both adrenal glands
  • Anti-reflux surgery, sometimes called hiatal hernia repair, to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Cancer surgery, for example, to destroy a tumor
  • Chest (thoracic) surgery
  • Colectomy to remove parts of a diseased colon
  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery
  • Endovascular surgery to replace a heart valve or repair an aneurysm
  • Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) to remove gallstones that cause pain
  • Gastroenterologic surgery, including for gastric bypass and Crohn's disease
  • 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, splenectomy and robotic surgery.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 surgeons and researchers study minimally invasive surgery techniques for many conditions. They continue to:

  • Seek new medical knowledge
  • Expand the number of conditions that would benefit from a minimally invasive approach
  • Figure out the safest and most effective techniques for people's surgical needs

Learn more on the research website.

Sep. 16, 2014