Here is a recent video about single-incision laparoscopic colectomy, featuring colorectal surgeon Deborah Nagle . The new procedure involves a single small incision made at the navel. A round port allows access for the instruments needed to remove parts or all of the intestine or colon. Traditional laparoscopic colectomy involves three to four small incisions. Fewer incisions can mean fewer scars and less pain after the operation and possibly less chance of infection. Deb answers frequently asked questions about this surgery here .
I am told that BIDMC was among the first hospitals in the country to use this technique. People in other hospitals, too, are likewise experimenting with other approaches to make abdominal surgery less invasive. With the dual emphasis on patient centeredness and "bending the health care cost curve," these kinds of procedures can help head in the right direction.