More and more surgeries are being done as a keyhole minimally invasive procedure.
The top five no scar operations are gall bladder removal, hernia repair, hiatus hernia repair, hemicolectomy (removal of part of right or left colon) sigmoid colectomy (removal of part of sigmoid colon) but other routine operations are also being done this way, for instance, fibroid removal, joint surgery, gastric bypass surgery, heart valve replacement and even cancer treatments.
Advantages to patients are great with minimal scarring, wound infection reduced, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.
Some new techniques for the future are NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) which instead of making incisions in the skin, the surgeon passes surgical instruments and a tiny camera through a natural orifice such as the mouth or another orifice. The idea is not just that the patient will have no scars but that the patient will heal faster and suffer less pain (I think we are all up for that).
Another new technique for the future is the I-SNAKE, which uses robots to improve precision and reduce patient trauma. The i-snake is a long tube containing motors, sensors and imaging tools that enters the body through the mouth or another orifice. Its thought that it may be used for clinical investigations or complex coronary bypass surgery.