This is more commonly known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery. It principally involves the use of a laparoscope which is a long tubular instrument carrying a light source and an optic cable. The instrument is passed into an anaesthetised patient and transmits a picture onto a television screen at the patient’s bedside. The instrument is very narrow so can be passed through a small cut, reducing discomfort and allowing for a faster recovery time.
Frequently Asked Questions
The laparoscope gives a very clear view of the abdominal cavity making it an excellent tool for diagnosing and treating surgical conditions. The laparoscope leaves a very small scar and patients recover quickly.
Initially, the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas to allow space to see the abdominal contents. The laparoscope is then passed through the abdominal wall, usually via a small cut under the belly button. Further instruments maybe required depending on the procedure being performed.
Most procedures can now be performed with the aid of a laparoscope. However, previous operations and certain conditions can make it difficult to develop space in the abdominal cavity to allow good views. In these situations, open surgery is often safest.
Injuries can occur during instrument insertion and some operations will need to be converted to an open operation requiring a larger cut. Laparoscopic surgery requires advanced surgical training especially to carry out more complex procedures.
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