Expert & Leader of department: Dr. med. Dipl. oec. med. Colin M. Krüger
The last 30 years have brought ground-breaking advancement in surgery thanks to new technical achievements. Modern diagnostic procedures like three-dimensional imaging and surgery that preserves surrounding tissue and organs – minimally invasive surgery (MIS), also known as keyhole surgery – have enabled complex operations on all organ systems to become common clinical practice. These developments have been complemented by great advances in anesthetics and in peri- and postoperative therapy, leading to a sharp rise in the success rate of surgery even on high risk patients, newborns and the very elderly. Minimally invasive procedures are nowadays applied in all surgical disciplines – including vascular, thoracic, visceral, emergency, neuro and plastic surgery, etc. – and have replaced many conventional operating techniques requiring extensive incisions that were for decades accepted as the ‘Golden Standard’. The advantages of the minimal incision technique – i.e. less operative trauma, less pain, reduced hospitalization, speedier recovery and resumption of work – are generally recognized, and are also interesting from an economic point of view, particularly as many procedures are increasingly carried out on an outpatient basis. Laparoscopic or thoracoscopic procedures enable more extensive internal inspection of the abdomen or chest cavity than was ever possible with conventional procedures. Keyhole surgery is today considered a progression of classical surgery, not least because – through connection via modern telecommunications systems – it allows long distance observation, review, discussion and standardization of surgical approaches, as well as opening the door to robotic and telesurgery.