Minimally Invasive Medicine: February 16, 2012

It seems everywhere you turn minimally invasive medicine is making an impact.

“We see it in general surgery, urology, gynecology and cardiovascular surgery,” says Dr. Larry Antonucci, Chief Operating Officer for Lee Memorial Health System.

It can be a game changer for patients. Surgeries that used to put them in the hospital for days are often done as outpatient procedures.

“It’s really a combination of patients wanting to get better quicker and to have these less invasive procedures and the technology being around to allow that to happen,” says Dr. Antonucci.

Dr. Antonucci is Chief Operating Officer with Lee Memorial Health System.

“I think the two big technological advances that have made this possible have been fiber optic technology which allows you to use very small scopes to look into areas. And the other is the incredible imaging technology that’s been present with cat scans and MRIs that do allow you to pinpoint disease.”

Cancer care has benefited tremendously from improved diagnostics.

“Perfect example is lymphoma where before patients needed to have a surgery to take their spleen out to make a better diagnosis and come up with a stage. Specifically Hodgkin’s, nowadays with good imaging studies that’s become really a thing of the past,” says Dr. Frank Rodriguez, an oncologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

When it comes to advanced tools, robotic instruments are transforming a wide body of surgeries, making them much less invasive with high tech eyes and arms in the operating room.

“The da Vinci robots have four arms, the center arm holds the camera then there’s two left arms and one right arm,” says Dr. Kevin Fleishman, an obstetrician/ gynecologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

A new cutting edge technology, the TAVR procedure allows surgeons to replace a heart valve through a catheter inserted in the groin, instead of opening the chest.

“It’s truly a remarkable procedure, it is going to change peoples’ lives,” says Dr. Antonucci.

Fixing the body without traumatizing the patient. It’s a hallmark of modern medicine.