An endoscope provides a surgeon with an illuminated and magnified view of internal organs and body cavities without making sizable incisions. Endoscopes are easily maneuverable to reach inaccessible areas and they can be equipped with a variety of instruments, from knives to lasers.
The use of operating microscopes for surgical procedures (Plastic surgery) has greatly assisted surgeons with seemingly impossible types of surgery center such as limb reattachment and eye and ear surgery. Operating microscopes are especially useful when individual nerve fibers and blood vessels must be realigned for attachment or repair.
For three decades after the first successful organ transplant was performed in 1954, medical transplants were rare and often unsuccessful. Thanks to advances in surgical techniques and the development of drugs that supress organ rejection, organ transplant operations now are common and generally successful.
Operations center that people once regarded as impossible became routine in the 20th century. Many of these surgical advances resulted from improved drugs or medical technology. Better drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs made transplantation of hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, and other organs removed from donors possible. Patients were kept alive with artificial kidneys and temporary artificial hearts while awaiting a transplant (see Medical Transplantation). The heart-lung machine made it possible to stop and restart the heart during coronary bypass surgery. Small fiber-optic instruments called endoscopes led to the new field of minimally invasive surgery. These new tools made it possible to remove a diseased gallbladder or appendix, for example, through small slits rather than large incisions, greatly reducing the amount of anesthesia required during the surgery and lessening recovery time. Transfusions of blood, plasma, and other saline solutions, which went into use in the 1930s, helped prevent deaths from shock in surgery patients. In the 1990s, physicians even began performing surgery center to repair defects in unborn infants.