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In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications.

Laparoscopy — surgery done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny 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 and helps the surgeon operate with precision, flexibility and control.


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
Cholecystectomy, to remove gallstones that cause pain
Colectomy to remove parts of a diseased colon
Colon and rectal surgery
Ear, nose and throat surgery
Endovascular surgery to treat or repair an aneurysm
Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) to remove gallstones that cause pain
Gastroenterologic surgery, including for gastric bypass
General surgery
Gynecologic surgery
Heart surgery
Kidney surgery
Living donor kidney transplant
Orthopedic surgery
Splenectomy to remove the spleen
Thoracic surgery, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy
Urologic surgery