Laparoscopic Surgery

What is a Laparoscope?
The word laparoscopy comes from the Greek words lapara (flank) and skopia (to see). A laparoscope is a surgical telescope that is used to see inside the abdomen. When attached to a high-power light source, a laparoscope can provide a beautifully, detailed color image of the abdomen through an incision only 1/2" or less in size.

What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
In traditional open surgery, a large incision is made on the abdominal wall in order to gain access to the abdominal organs. In contrast, laparoscopic surgery is performed through several very small incisions, only 1/4" to 1/2" in length.

A laparoscope, or surgical telescope, is inserted through one of these incisions so that the entire surgical team can see the internal organs displayed on a color TV monitor. Narrow instruments, also 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter, are inserted through other small incisions to cut, staple, clip and sew. Using very sophisticated instruments, advanced laparoscopic surgeons can perform almost any abdominal operation through the laparoscopic approach.

Laparoscopic surgery has a number of advantages over open surgery:

  • Faster Recovery: Because the incisions are much smaller, patients are able to return to work and normal activities much more quickly than after open surgery.
  • Less Pain: Smaller incisions hurt less than large incisions.
  • Fewer Incision-Related Problems: A small incision is less likely than a larger incision to become infected or develop a hernia. This is particularly true with bariatric surgery patients, since the abdominal wall is thicker.
FAQ

Q. Can every operation be performed laparoscopically?

A. For surgeons with advanced training, it is possible to perform almost any abdominal operation through a laparoscopic approach. If a problem is encountered that cannot be safely treated laparoscopically, the operation can be quickly converted to a traditional open approach. If your surgeon expects your operation to be extremely technically difficult (due to very high BMI or extensive scarring from prior surgery) then he or she may suggest a traditional open approach. Ultimately, your surgeon will want to use whichever approach results in the safest outcome.

 


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