Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique that utilizes specialized thin instruments and the assistance of a miniaturized video camera to allow the surgeon to operate inside the patient’s body. Instead of one large incision, just a few small incisions or punctures are used. This allows the introduction of the laparoscope, a long thin tube with a miniaturized camera, which allows the surgeon a detailed view of a patient’s internal organs on a high-resolution video monitor. Other instruments can be inserted through the other openings to help perform the operation. Harmless carbon dioxide gas is inserted into the body to create an expanded working space for the surgeon during the operation.
The main benefits of laparoscopic surgery include less pain after surgery, smaller scars, and less overall stress on the body. Due to the smaller incisions, recovery times for the patient can be significantly shorter than conventional surgery. Patients are usually able to move and walk around just hours after the operation. In fact, many patients will be able to go home on the day of the operation.
Key benefits of laparoscopic surgery for the surgeon are an enhanced view of the organs they are operating on as well as the surrounding blood vessels and other tissues. This can often make performing delicate procedures easier for the surgeon. In order to perform laparoscopic surgery, specialized training by the surgeon is required. Due to its proven success in the operating room, many physicians are now utilizing laparoscopic procedures for operations that previously required open surgeries.
Common types of procedures that can be performed using laparoscopic surgery:
- Bowel resection
- Hernia repair
- Liver biopsy
- Common bile duct exploration
- Gall bladder removal
- Gastric bypass (bariatric surgery)
- Spleen removal
- Anti-reflex surgery