Laparoscopic surgery – also known as ‘keyhole surgery’ or ‘minimally invasive surgery’ – describes surgical operations which are performed through small incisions in the skin as opposed to the conventional approach to surgery that requires a much larger incision to be made.
Laparoscopic surgery generally requires less than 1cm incision through which the Laparoscope is inserted into the body cavity. CO2 gas is also introduced into the cavity to move the abdominal wall away from the organs and so allow the surgeon to perform the surgery. Other small (0.5cm incisions) may also be needed to insert other instruments needed during the procedure.
The main advantages of laparoscopic surgery over conventional surgery is a substanial reduction in pain and discomfort for the patient post surgery and the patient can often go home the same day or the following day after surgery and smaller post operative scars. There is also a lower chance of internal scarring (adhesions) compared to conventional surgery and for some types of surgery the magnification of the area being operated upon on a large screen makes the procedure easier to complete for the surgeon.
Common post-operative guidelines following laparoscopy include the following:
Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever, chills, increased pain, bleeding or fluid leakage from the incisions, chest pain, shortness or breath, leg pain, and or dizziness.
Risks and Complications
As with all surgical procedures, Laparoscopy can be associated with certain risks and complications such as infections, blood loss, nerve damage and allergic reactions to medications, although these are rare. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever, chills, increased pain, bleeding or fluid leakage from the incisions, chest pain, shortness or breath, leg pain, and or dizziness.