An endoscopy is a surgical procedure where an endoscope is used to view the internal body structures after some tiny incisions are made on the skin.
Endoscopic surgery has been used for decades to perform several types of procedures like tubal ligation, knee surgery and the removal of the gallbladder. However, endoscopic instruments in the field of plastic surgery have been introduced in the recent past.
Although the endoscopic technique is widely used in many fields of medicine, more studies are being done to establish how effective it can be in reconstructive and cosmetic procedures in the long term.
We are going to look at endoscopy in plastic surgery and how it is performed. The risks associated with it and the type of training you need to look for in a surgeon before you accept a surgeon to use this technique.
There are two parts of an endoscope; a tube that has a bright light and a small camera which is placed inside an incision. And a viewing screen that is used to magnify the images received from the internal structures of the body. When the surgery is in progress, the surgeon views the screen as the tube is inserted in the surgical region.
It is important to highlight that an endoscope serves as a viewing device only, nothing else. To perform a surgical procedure, other instruments like scissors, scalpel, and forceps are used in the surgical region to manipulate the tissue being operated on.
Advantages of Endoscopy
Every surgery carries risk, and every incision made in the body leaves a scar. But with endoscopic surgery, you have a high chance of having hidden scars, and you will also have minimal effects after surgery,
In an endoscopic procedure, a few tiny incisions are made for the endoscope probe to be inserted. For procedures like breast augmentation, you can only have two incisions. For procedures like a forehead lift, 3 or more short incisions can be done. The surgeon using the tiny camera of the endoscope can view the site to be operated on clearly as though the skin was wide open.
Since the incisions are shorter, there are very low chances of nerve damages. Swelling, bruising and bleeding are also reduced significantly. Using an endoscope, you can recover much faster and get back to your daily activities much faster, compared recovery after open surgery.
An endoscopic procedure also allows you to go for outpatient treatment. Most of the endoscopic procedures performed are done while a patient is under sedation and local anesthesia.
Uses in plastic surgery
In the next few years, the endoscope will have more uses. In plastic surgery, the use of endoscopy is done on a few patients. Some of the procedures that use endoscopy include:
1. Reconstructive surgery
A surgeon can use an endoscope to correct sinus-drainage issues. It can also help in the location of nasal polyps or other issues that can be found in the sinus cavity.
When repairing body parts that are damaged because of illness or injury, healthy tissue is borrowed from one region to repair another region. When an endoscope is used, the flaps or tissue can be removed from the source or donor site, using only 2 to 3 incisions.
2. Cosmetic surgery
A forehead lift is the most common procedure done by plastic surgeons. In this procedure, 3 or more puncture type incisions are done at the hairline instead of the common ear to ear incision. The surgeon is guided by the endoscope to remove the muscles that cause frown lines, and it repositions the eyebrows to the right place.
Patients are still comfortable with the traditional form of facelift procedures. But there are those patients who can benefit from a procedure that is assisted with endoscopy. When using an endoscope, the common incision on the hairline is not needed.
Incisions are only made in areas where there is the need for correction. If the skin and muscles of the middle section of the face need to be tightened and smoothed, then incisions are placed on the lower eyelid, and they are also hidden in the upper part of the gumline.
When the neck muscles need tightening, incisions may be hidden behind the ears and under the chin.
Deciding whether endoscopic surgery is right for you
There is still a lot to explore with endoscopic surgery, and you may want to focus on the following when you are planning to undergo an endoscopic facelift:
- Endoscopy has been used in gynecologic, urologic and orthopedic procedures. There is improved technology that is now being worked on to permit endoscopy on facelift procedures.
- You need an experienced plastic surgeon to conduct endoscopic procedures to get the best results with very little scarring.
- There are cases where endoscopic surgery may need very little recovery time compared to open procedures.
- The best patients for cosmetic endoscopic treatment are those without lots of loose skin. Patients who have loose facial skin can use a combination of endoscopic and classic techniques, in face or forehead lift.
Choosing a well-trained surgeon
Since endoscopy is rather a new technique used in plastic surgery, you need to choose a plastic surgeon who has a great experience and is board-certified with adequate training. Most endoscopic procedures are on an outpatient basis. If you desire to undergo an outpatient treatment, ensure that the surgeon you have identified has the rights to conduct an endoscopic procedure at a good hospital.
Find out if the surgeon has the rights from the hospital to conduct both endoscopic and open procedures of the treatment you are planning to undergo. This is important because a surgeon may be forced to switch between both methods if a complication happens to occur during a surgical procedure.
Be aware that most of the plastic surgeons have endoscopy training and board-certified plastic surgeons are being trained on a continuous basis in new procedures.
For more information on how you can get endoscopic facelift in New York, contact Dr. Andrew Jacono, M.D FACS at (212) 570-2500 New York or (516) 773-4646 Long Island. You can also log onto the New York Center for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery website at www.newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com for more procedures offered at the medical clinic and also to book an appointment online.