Minimally invasive surgery is something I have seen in the medical dramas I’ve been watching. Who here doesn’t or have not watched any medical dram series where you see people slicing and stitching someone up after an incision/operation. Well, some might still be doing it but with the new technological advances in medicines they have this saying that “the smaller the incision the more experienced, expensive and effective the surgery is.”
Just the other day, I attended a virtual event / virtual media conference / webicon with Cardinal Santos Medical Center and they gave us a very informative rundown about The future of surgical healthcare.
The virtual event’s roster of speakers included Dr. Alfred Allen Buenafe, Executive Director of Cardinal Santos’ Philippine Center for Advanced Surgery—the pioneer MIS training center in the Philippines, Dr. Zenaida Javier-Uy, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Jaideep Raj Rao, Senior Consultant and General & Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in Singapore.
During his talk, Dr. Buenafe highlighted the main advantages of laparoscopic surgery, a type of minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
- This is a type of surgery that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without making large incisions on the skin.
- Laparoscopy can be used to help diagnose a wide range of conditions that develop inside the abdomen or pelvis, through direct visualization of the affected organs.
- It can also be used to carry out surgical procedures like removing a diseased organ like the gallbladder, or for collecting tissue samples for testing or biopsy.
- “When we started doing minimal access surgery, the results were not only similar to large incision surgery, but they were even better
- Patients recovered much better and they could get back into society doing their normal activity. And they even have low recurrence rate.
- There’s minimal disturbance in a patient’s physiology, and therefore, the amount of stress to the human body is much lower and therefore the recovery is much faster.
- Laparoscopic surgery is also covered by health insurance.
- Not all surgeons can do this kind of surgery, you have to find a surgeons who can do this.
- It is more expensive than normal surgery because of the equipment and instruments used. But if you take into account the earlier release and recovery of the patient. The loss of income for a patient is less.
- It is also safe to do this surgery even during the pandemic.
Patient testimonies about minimally invasive surgery
Patients who underwent minimally invasive surgeries also shared their experience during the webicon.
Dr. Steve Costello, a patient of Dr. Buenafe, was operated on in 2017 for his hernia.
“I must admit that as much as I’d come to believe Dr. Buenafe, I wasn’t totally convinced when he told me I could get back to my previous good health and lifestyle almost immediately,” Dr. Costello shares. “But healing was smooth as silk and I quickly returned to a life I had not enjoyed in years. My work, my play, and my self-confidence all returned, and it was easy to be happy again!”
Isis Huang, a young urban professional, also underwent surgery after what she thought was a simple acid reflux turned out to be a cyst in her ovaries.
“I truly thank God for a successful surgery—they were able to take out the cyst the size of a California orange,” says Huang. “The MIS procedure helped me to have a faster recovery process. After I was discharged, I was advised to stay home for two weeks but all I needed was just one week. I went back to my OB-gyne and my wound was dry and healed.”
“The Philippine Center for Advanced Surgery Training Center of Cardinal Santos Medical Center is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It was established to provide access to world-class training while promoting the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to our junior consultants and nurses in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific,” says Dr. Buenafe. “Through this advocacy, our ultimate goal is to elevate the standard of healthcare especially for the Filipino patient.”