Over the past several decades, the science and the art of surgery have been transformed, thanks to minimally invasive tools and techniques. With less cutting, less blood, fewer stitches, smaller scars, shorter recovery times and fewer complications, the procedures offer huge advantages to patients and providers. “Keyhole” surgery involves small incisions and use of a laparoscope or an endoscope to provide an illuminated view inside the body. The development of flexible fiber-optic endoscopes in 1960 made the whole field possible. It wasn't until the 1980s when the new procedures started to take off. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, or the removal of the gallbladder through an incision at the navel, is considered the technique's first huge success. Arthroscopic surgery for repair of joint problems and injuries is another common and highly successful application.
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