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What Is Laparoscopic Surgery, And What Do I Need To Know About It?

Mar 10, 2008
Also referred to as minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery, laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique that is carried out using a video camera in combination with several very thin surgical instruments. The key element of laparoscopic surgery is the utilization of a telescopic rod lens system called the laparoscope, which is connected to a single-chip or a three-chip video camera.

During laparoscopic surgery small incisions, about 0.5 - 1.5 cm in size are made in the area that is to be operated upon and ports or plastic tubes are placed into the body through these incisions. The necessary surgical instruments as well as the camera are than introduced through the ports from there they get access to the inside of the patient.

Since there is no large incision, it is impossible for the surgeon to see directly into the patient. Instead, internal images are transmitted by the micro-video camera, which can be seen on a television monitor. In laparoscopic surgery, the camera is in effect the surgeon's eyes. He performs the surgery using the images which are transmitted by the video that is inside the body.

How laparoscopic surgery is done

Laparoscopic surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. After cleaning the skin in the area where the surgery is to be performed, the surgeon makes one or more separate small incision in the skin. These incisions measure about half to one-and-half centimeters and are just enough to allow the thin instruments to be pushed into the body. The laparoscope is pushed gently through the incision and the surgeon performs the surgery by watching the images on the television screen. the laparoscope and other instruments are removed when the surgery is finished, the incisions are stitched and the necessary dressings are applied.

The patient is likely to feel a little sore after the laparoscopic surgery, but this is only temporary. The pain passes off very soon taken to recover depends on the reason the operation was performed as well as what procedures were performed.

Complications associated with laparoscopic surgery

In most cases, there are no complications associated with laparoscopic surgery other than some minor bruising and bleeding around the skin where the incisions are made. The only problems that could possibly occur are accidental damage to blood vessels or other structures in the area where the surgery is being performed. This is a rare occurrence and emergency traditional operational procedures are carried out to rectify the damage. As with any other operational procedure, there is a small risk of anesthesia-related complications. On rare occasions, there is infection of the incision, which is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

Benefits of laparoscopic procedures

The biggest benefits of laparoscopic surgery are the minimal post operative discomfort that is experienced because of the smaller size of the incisions and the decreased risk of complications. Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery have quicker recovery times and shorter hospital stays, enabling them to return to their full activities much faster than patients who undergo traditional surgery. There is also less external and internal scarring in laparoscopic as compared to standard open surgery.
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