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What is the difference between invasive surgery and minimally invasive surgery?

Any surgery where you make as small of an incision as possible to do a proper surgery is minimally invasive surgery. Different people will define minimally invasive surgery in different ways, but typically it refers to making an incision as small as possible while still being able to perform a safe surgery.

There are some times—for example parathyroid surgery—where Dr. Kroeker has localized a parathyroid adenoma, or noncancerous (benign) tumor of the parathyroid glands, on one side of the neck. She will make a very small incision on one side of the neck and then use tiny little retractors to get in and find the parathyroid gland. The key is always to perform a safe surgery, first and foremost.

Dr. Kroeker will always make sure that her incision allows her the proper space to not injure a nerve, not get into bleeding, and not have any complications during surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery is making the smallest incision possible for the best cosmetic result, but still doing a safe surgery, which is by far the most important consideration.