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What is laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery also referred to as minimally invasive surgery or KEYHOLE Surgery describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments. The surgical procedures are completed via small incisions of up to half an inch instead of the conventional larger incisions. Plastic tubes called ports are placed through these incisions. The camera and the instruments are then introduced through the ports which allow access to the inside of the patient. The camera transmits image of the organs inside the abdomen onto a television monitor. The surgeon is not able to see directly into the patient like the traditional large incision.

Many surgeons have described Laparoscopy as a marriage of modern technology and surgical innovation that aims to accomplish surgical therapeutic goals with minimal somatic and psychological trauma.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery-

  • less post operative discomfort since the incisions are much smaller
  • quicker recovery times
  • shorter hospital stays
  • earlier return to full activities
  • much smaller scars
  • there may be less internal scarring

What kinds of operations can be performed using laparoscopic surgery?

Most intestinal surgeries can be performed using the laparoscopic technique. These include surgery for gall stones, appendicitis, abdominal hernias, spleen enlargement, constipation, cancers, reflux disease and others. Obesity reduction surgeries also called Bariatric surgeries are also being done via laparoscopy.

Inguinal hernias are also currently being done via the laparoscopic method. The field of laparoscopy has been extended to most if not all abdominal surgeries.

How safe is laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery is as safe as traditional open surgery. At the beginning of a laparoscopic operation the laparoscope is inserted through a small incision near the belly button (umbilicus). The surgeon initially inspects the abdomen to determine whether laparoscopic surgery may be safely performed. He determines the pathology and the starts the procedure. The magnification and the precision that is provided by laparoscopy works to great advantage of the laparoscopic surgeon especially when operating on the organs lying deep in the abdominal cavity.

Numerous studies have shown that the safety of laparoscopy is nowhere less than that of open surgery. As the time has passed after the introduction of laparoscopy, surgeons have matured and refined thier skills. Today the complication rate of most laparoscopic procedures is almost comparable if not less than conventional open surgery.

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