What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy refers to the use of a thin camera and instruments inserted through small incisions in the abdomen to perform operations that had been done with large incisions in the past. Today we are able to perform most abdominal operations this way.
What happens during the procedure?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Each individual procedure is planned specifically for the patient’s individual problem. A half to quarter inch incision is made in the abdomen and the laparoscope is inserted carefully to avoid damaging any inner structure. Air is then used to inflate the abdominal cavity allowing the surgeon to examine the abdominal cavity from the inside on a large screen that allows for the placement of the operating ports. The operation is completed and the small incisions closed with internal absorbable sutures so as to leave as little scar as possible.
Is any special preparation needed?
Each individual surgery may require studies prior to the surgery being planned and performed; this could include blood tests, ultrasounds, Cat Scans or MRI, depending on the problem being addressed.
What are the risk factors?
Infection, bleeding, pain, injury to surrounding organs and tissues, nausea, vomiting, fever are all potential risks of laparoscopy.
What is the recovery like?
The great advantage of minimally invasive surgery, like laparoscopy, is the far quicker recovery it allows. After many operations like appendectomies and cholecystectomies the patient can be discharged on the same day as surgery with Tylenol and ibuprofen for pain. Some more extensive surgeries will require a longer stay in the hospital but always with less pain and quicker recovery than with the classic operations.
Reviewed by: Leopoldo Malvezzi, MD
This page was last updated on: March 26, 2019 12:30 PM
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Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery is a broad term that applies to a wide range of medical procedures. It refers to any surgery where small incisions are made and telescopes and operating instruments are passed into the body, allowing the operation being performed with the surgeon viewing the procedure on a nearby television screen.