Minimal access surgery implies that a limited incision length or limited number of small incisions in the abdominal wall are used to gain access to the organs within the abdomen.
This term is used interchangeably with minimally invasive, laparoscopic and keyhole surgery. All of these use small incisions through which long, thin instruments are passed to perform surgery. A thin laparoscopic camera provides the light and visualization with which the surgeon sees the operative field on a high-definition, flat-panel screen. Minimal access also refers to performing surgery in an open fashion but making a smaller incision than is traditionally used. In minimal access operations of the neck, chest and abdomen, surgeons have reduced the incision length by up to 75 percent.
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