What is Laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery or keyhole surgery. It is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) as compared to larger incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures.
Keyhole surgery uses images displayed on TV monitors for magnification of the surgical elements.
Advanced Laparoscopic surgery includes operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas keyhole surgery performed on the thoracic or chest cavity is called thoracoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery belong to the broader field of endoscopy.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions and hemorrhaging, and shorter recovery time.
Today there is no abdominal surgery which is not performed laparoscopically.
The Digital laparoscope
In the digital laparoscope the charge-coupled device is placed at the end of the laparoscope, eliminating the rod lens system. Also attached is a fiber optic cable system connected to a ‘cold’ light source (halogen or xenon), to illuminate the operative field, inserted through a 5 mm or 10 mm cannula or trocar to view the operative field. The abdomen is usually insufflated, or essentially blown up like a balloon, with carbon dioxide gas. This elevates the abdominal wall above the internal organs like a dome to create a working and viewing space. CO2 is used because it is common to the human body and can be absorbed by tissue and removed by the respiratory system. It is also non-flammable, which is important because electrosurgical devices are commonly used in laparoscopic procedures.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure.
- Reduced bleeding, which reduces the chance of needing a blood transfusion.
- Smaller incision, which reduces pain and shortens recovery time, as well as resulting in less post-operative scarring.
- Less pain, leading to less pain medication needed.
- Although procedure times are usually slightly longer, a hospital stay is less, and often with the same day discharge which leads to a faster return to everyday living.
- Reduced exposure of internal organs to possible external contaminants thereby reduced the risk of acquiring infections.