NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,812 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

minimally invasive surgery
(MIH-nih-muh-lee in-VAY-siv SER-juh-ree)
Surgery that is done using small incisions (cuts) and few stitches. During minimally invasive surgery, one or more small incisions may be made in the body. A laparoscope (thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Tiny surgical instruments are inserted through other openings to do the surgery. Minimally invasive surgery may cause less pain, scarring, and damage to healthy tissue, and the patient may have a faster recovery than with traditional surgery.