Is Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS) becoming the Future of Malaysia’s Surgical Care?

MIS offers a variety of benefits for the patient and the doctor than traditional surgery

Regency Specialist Hospital's MIS Workshop Poster

Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS), first introduced in the 1980s to the medical healthcare community, requires surgical methods that involve little to no incisions. The surgical method is seen as a safer alternative to traditional open surgeries. This modern technology uses cameras, telescopes, and robotic devices that allow the surgeon to visualise the surgery progress without making large incisions. In most cases, the surgery can be done within the day, with minimal recovery time. However, MIS is still relatively new in Malaysia; with only 30% of surgeries performed in the nation including surgery that can be done in a day including MIS1.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)

MIS offers a variety of benefits for the patient and the doctor than traditional surgery. This includes fewer complications or post-surgical infections among patients. This is a crucial component, as one in ten people globally who underwent traditional surgery reported site infections2.

Other benefits include:

  • Smaller incisions: Surgeons only need to make a small incision to insert cameras, tubes and other minor surgical tools. Smaller incisions require fewer stitches and produce less scarring and bleeding.
  • Decreased risk of infection: Smaller open wounds reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses entering the body and causing infection.
  • Shorter hospital stays: For hospital performed surgeries, the hospital stay is shorter and, therefore more cost-efficient. Many patients won’t even require an overnight stay.
  • Faster recovery and minimal downtime: Many patients who undergo MIS have a shorter recovery period with fewer activity restrictions. They experience less postoperative pain and swelling and are able to return to normal activities within a few days.

This is evident with appendectomies, one of the common surgeries performed globally. It can now be performed via MIS with laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin.

Dr Lim Huay Cheen, Upper GI, General and Bariatric Surgeon at RSH, shared, “Appendectomis using MIS methods, allows the patient to be admitted for a shorter duration less postoperative pain and bleeding as well as scarring. We have also found that patients are also less fearful with minimally invasive surgical methods when we explain it to them.”

For gynaecological surgeries such as hysterectomies, Dr Badrul Zaman bin Muda @ Abdullah, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at RSH also shared, “Hysterectomies performed through MIS avoids a significant abdominal or vaginal incision that requires the patient to be in pain and limit their mobility of weeks or even months. With this new surgical procedure, patients can now undergo hysterectomies with less pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and smaller scars.”

MIS For Tumour Care and Detection

In addition, MIS methods can also benefit more complicated health issues such as spinal decompression to relieve pressure on the nerves in the lower back. This may result in reduced muscle injury, back pain and spinal instability.

Dr Teo Beng Tiong, Neurosurgeon at RSH, shared, “MIS in spinal decompression vastly reduces our patients’ recovery time. Patients would only need one to three days in recovery before they start walking and healing compared to traditional surgical methods. It also helps prevent further pain and complications like spondylolisthesis where the vertebra can slip out of position.”

Tumours and cancer surgeries can also benefit from minimally invasive surgery (MIS). It can diagnose and treat tumours and conditions such as brain tumours, neurological disorders, fluid buildup and more. It can also monitor the patient’s progress and perform more complicated surgeries with greater accuracy and improved patient outcomes.

Dr Teo added that MIS usually involves making tiny incisions to be able to access and treat the affected areas of the brain without adversely risking the patients’ health and related complications compared to traditional brain surgery that requires removing part of the skull; to allow access to the brain.”

Dr Han Pei Kwong, Urologist at RSH, shared, “MIS technology can be used to treat, detect, or remove tumours and cancer in cystrectomy and adrenalectomy procedures. This has enabled the patient to enjoy the same diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of traditional open surgery without the postoperative pain and better cosmetic results.”

RSH’s team of doctors are highly trained and proficient in minimally invasive surgical methods and robotic-assisted surgery safely across all health disciplines such as gynaecology, neurosurgery, bariatric, urology and more. Their medical experts recently conducted a workshop with over 50 healthcare professionals, including general practitioners (GP), surgeons, and nurses, on minimally invasive procedures and their various benefits and safe practices.

1 C.Y. Foo & S. Sivasampua, Day surgery in a developing country – the Malaysian experience, Journal of Ambulatory Care, 2014 link: 067_Day_surgery_in_a_developing_country_the_malaysian_experience.pdf (

2 Report on the Burden of Endemic Health Care-Associated Infection Worldwide, World Health Organisation(WHO),2011