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
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.
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