WHAT IS MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY?
Minimally invasive procedures use advanced technologies to avoid the need for the large incisions used in traditional open surgery. The development of these techniques has been an important advance for the benefit of patients and is useful for the treatment of many conditions. “Laparoscopic surgery” is a specific type of minimally invasive surgery, but the term is sometimes used to refer to minimally invasive surgery in general.
What is a laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a procedure to look inside your abdomen by using a laparoscope. A laparoscope is like a thin telescope with a light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside the abdomen. A laparoscope is passed into the abdomen through a small incision (cut) in the skin. A laparoscopy enables a doctor to see clearly inside your abdomen.
What is laparoscopic surgery?
laparoscopic surgery also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed far from their location through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) elsewhere in the body.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus the more common, open procedure. Pain and hemorrhaging are reduced due to smaller incisions and recovery times are shorter. The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope, a long fiber optic cable system which allows viewing of the affected area by snaking the cable from a more distant, but more easily accessible location.
In addition simply to looking inside, a doctor can use fine instruments which are also passed into the abdomen through another small incision in the skin. These instruments are used to cut, trim, biopsy, grab, etc, inside the abdomen. Some commonly performed operations include:
- Removal of the gallbladder : This is sometimes called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, or ‘lap choly’ for short. It is now the most common way for a gallbladder to be removed.
- Removal of the appendix.
- Weight loss surgery/ Bariatric Surgery
- Hernia surgery
- Removal of spleen, kidney, adrenal gland, thyroid gland
- Removal of patches of endometriosis.
- Removal of parts of the intestines.
- Female sterilisation.
- Treating ectopic pregnancy.
- Taking a biopsy (small sample) of various structures inside the abdomen which can be looked at under the microscope and/or tested in other ways.
In general, compared with traditional surgery, with laparoscopic surgery there is usually:
- Less pain following the procedure.
- Less risk of complications.
- A shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.
- A much smaller scar.
How is it done?
Laparoscopy and laparoscopic surgery are usually done whilst you are asleep under general anaesthesia. The skin over the abdomen is cleaned. The surgeon then makes a small incision (cut) about 1-2 cm long near to the navel (belly button). Some gas is injected through the cut to ‘blow out’ the abdominal wall slightly. This makes it easier to see the internal organs with the laparoscope which is gently pushed through the incision into the abdominal cavity. The surgeon then looks down the laparoscope or looks at pictures on a TV monitor connected to the laparoscope.
If you have a surgical procedure, one or more separate small incisions are made in the abdominal skin. These allow thin instruments to be pushed into the abdominal cavity. The surgeon can see the ends of these instruments with the laparoscope and so can perform the required procedure.
When the surgeon has finished, the laparoscope and other instruments are removed. The incisions are stitched and dressings are applied.
Dr. Rohit Kumar
Specialist General Surgeon