Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery can be referred to as keyhole surgery when natural body openings are not used. Other common terms include bandaid surgery and minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

It is a surgical technique used in operations within the abdomen or pelvic cavity. Laparoscopic surgery is a field of endoscopy.

Laparoscopy means to look inside the abdominal cavity with a special camera (scope).

A laparoscope contains a fibre optic system to illuminate the operation site. It also has a lens system to view the site. The lens system is usually connected to a video camera and a channel to allow access for intervention using long, thin instruments.

Traditional intestinal surgery requires a long incision down the centre of the abdomen and a lengthy recovery period.

In Laparoscopic Surgery, a surgeon introduces instruments through side ports or small incisions. In traditional cholecystectomy, a 20 cm cut would have to be made but in Laparoscopic Surgery, two or five cuts of 5-15 mm will be sufficient to perform a laparoscopic removal of a gallbladder.

The patient experiences less pain and scarring after surgery, more rapid recovery, and less risk of infection than traditional surgery.

The abdomen is usually inflated with carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide lifts the abdominal wall away from the organs below. This creates a working and viewing space.

This approach is intended to minimise operative blood loss and post-operative pain, and speeds up recovery times.

Nevertheless, the pain caused by the carbon dioxide leaving the body is severe in some cases and painkillers have little or no effect.

The restricted vision, difficulty in handling of the instruments (hand-eye coordination), lack of tactile perception and the limited working area can increase the possibility of damage to surrounding organs and vessels, either accidentally or through the difficulty of procedures.

The first transatlantic surgery ever performed was a laparoscopic gallbladder removal. Today, colorectal surgeons use laparoscopic techniques to perform intestinal surgery.

Laparoscopy can be used to remove ailing tissue from many areas of the intestines. Laparoscopy can be used to treat:

  • Diverticulitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Some colorectal cancers
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Familial polyposis
  • Rectal prolapse

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