Endoscopy is a surgical technique that uses an endoscope – a special viewing instrument, which allows the doctor to see images of the internal structures of the patient through very tiny incisions.
This special instrument consists of two important parts – the tubular probe (fitted with a small camera and bright light) and the viewing screen (needed in order to magnify the transmitted images from the internal structures).
During the Endoscopic plastic surgery, the doctor watches through the screen while moving the endoscope tube through the surgical area.
Endoscopic surgery has been used for many years in various surgical procedures such as gallbladder operation and knee surgery. Although the Endoscopic surgery technique is new to the world of plastic surgery, it holds great promise to both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.
Also Known As: Endoscopy
Benefits of Endoscopic Plastic Surgery
Endoscopic plastic surgery produces smaller incisions. Normally, the doctor will make an inch long incision. Because of this, patients will have a faster recovery time from surgery.
Endoscopic plastic surgery will benefit men and women, of all ages, from all ethnic origins, and with realistic expectations.
However, this plastic surgery technique will not benefit patients with active diseases, serious medical conditions and if he or she is smoking, has recently quit smoking or has second-hand smoke exposure.
Your doctor will determine whether Endoscopic plastic surgery is the best technique for your condition.
The Endoscopic Plastic Surgery Procedure
In most endoscopic plastic surgery procedures, general anesthetic is administered enabling the patient to sleep throughout the entire procedure. However, local anesthesia complemented with intravenous sedation can also be used for some cases.
Since Endoscopy is still new to plastic surgery, medical research is still on the process of finding new uses for endoscopic plastic surgery. In the meantime, various plastic surgeons are using this method for both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Endoscopy can be used for reconstructive surgeries such as flap surgery, carpal tunnel release, sinus surgery and placement of tissue expanders.
* Flap surgery – The body parts that are damaged from illness or injuries can be repaired through endoscopic plastic surgery. The tissues or flaps are removed from the donor with only few tiny incisions.
* Carpal tunnel release – Once the endoscope is inserted through the small incision on the wrists, the doctor will find the median nerve at the center of the wrist.
* Sinus surgery – When a doctor uses the endoscopic plastic surgery technique, it is easier to pinpoint and correct the sinus-drainage problem since it can locate problems inside the sinus cavity.
* Placing tissue expanders – Tissue expanders are temporary silicone implants used to stretch various skin areas. This newly expanded skin is then transferred to lost skin from burns or diseases. By administering endoscopic plastic surgery, the doctor can ensure that each tissue expander is positioned correctly into the surface.
Endoscopic plastic surgery is also used for various cosmetic procedures such as tummy tuck, face lift, forehead (eyebrow) lift and breast augmentation.
* Tummy tuck – For patients with abdominal muscle tone loss, endoscopic plastic surgery is recommended. Using an endoscope, the vertically positioned muscles can be tightened even with few incision lines. However, this technique cannot be used on patients with severely loose abdominal skin.
* Facelift – When an endoscope is used for facelift, the incision along the hairline is usually eliminated. Compared to the traditional facelift, only small incisions are placed in the target areas. An endoscopic plastic surgery can also be used in positioning chin and cheek implants.
* Forehead (brow) lift – This procedure is one of the most endoscopically done operations used by plastic surgeons. Rather than the standard ear-to-ear incision, three small incisions are made at the patient’s hairline. The endoscope guides the doctor to remove muscles, which produces lines, while repositioning the brows at higher levels.
* Breast Augmentation – When endoscopic plastic surgery is used in breast augmentation, the device is inserted into the small incision in the navel or underarm. It assists in the correction of implants and evaluation of past breast implants.
Recovery After an endoscopic plastic surgery
Immediately after an endoscopic plastic surgery, your surgeon will provide a post-operation instruction, depending on your condition. Usually, these instructions are steps to promote recovery time and improve the progress for your new look.
Your surgeon will also give follow-up appointments in order to assess the long-term results of your operation and prevent possible complications.
In order to counter discomfort, your surgeon may prescribe painkillers and other medication after the procedure.
Since the endoscopic plastic surgery requires smaller incisions, the healing process is quicker than open surgery. The effects of surgery as well as incision scars are reduced and diminished quickly.
Depending on the operation made, a patient who underwent an Endoscopy may resume work after two to three days.
Surgical facility And Cost
Most endoscopic plastic surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis within office-based centers, hospital or plastic surgery facilities.
The cost of an Endoscopy depends largely on the operation needed and the severity of condition. The entire procedure may cost $1,500 to $25,000.
Side Effects, Risks, Complications and Contradictions
Any operation that makes use of endoscopic plastic surgery involves some risks and complications. Although side effects are rare, they include infection, bleeding, numbness around the incisions and damage to the nerves of the area being treated.