Laparoscopic surgery also known as Minimally Invasive Surgery, Keyhole Surgery and Bandaid Surgery, is a surgical procedure where small skin incisions are made through which the surgeon operates using pencil like cameras and laparoscopic instruments. Also known as minimally invasive or Keyhole surgery, is usually offered as same day surgery.
This type of surgery has gained popularity over traditional open surgeries as laparoscopy reduces post operative pain and the recovery time.
Some commonly performed operations include:
Removal of the gallbladder
Hernia Repairs (Umbilical, Ventral, Inguinal, Incisional etc. with mesh).
Diagnostic Laparoscopy (with or without biopsies)
Removal of patches of endometriosis
Weight loss procedures for Obesity reduction
In general, compared with traditional surgery, with laparoscopic surgery there is usually:
Minimal Blood loss during surgery
Reduced pain post-procedure due to smaller incisions
Reduced risk of complications due to minimal internal organ exposure
Quicker healing process
Reduced risk of infection
A shorter hospital stay
How is it done?
Advanced Laparoscopic surgeries are done under general anaesthesia.
Surgeons then makes small incisions (skin cut) about ½- 1 cm long as per the requirement of the surgery.
Laparoscopic instruments and Laparoscope (camera) are introduced into the body through these incisions. The surgeon then gains the visual of the organs through the laparoscope connected to a screen.
Thin pencil like instruments used during the surgery help the surgeon to perform the procedure. Post procedure, the instruments are removed and the incisions are closed and dressings are done.
What is the post operative care?
Post procedure, the patient may be placed in a recovery room or ICU to monitor and recovery from Anaesthesia. The surgeon will examine the condition of the patient and recommend same day discharge in most cases. Some cases may require an overnight stay at the hospital to monitor the patient.
What preparation do I need to do?
As you will usually be under a general anaesthesia, you should be fasting overnight before the operation. Depending on the reason for your operation there may be more specific instructions. Your doctor will give you this information as needed.
After discharge, what is the care required?
Post discharge, you must take care of the wound till the healing process is completed. You can return to work soon as per the advice of the surgeon. However, care must be taken not to lift heavy weights, and certain others like driving and swimming until cleared by your surgeon.
Are there any possible complications from laparoscopic surgery?
There may be some minor bleeding or bruising around the skin incisions. Otherwise, in most cases a laparoscopic surgery goes without any issues. Possible problems, although rare, may occur include the following:
Accidental injury to structures inside the abdomen, such as the intestines or certain blood vessels. This is rare but, if it occurs, an emergency traditional operation may be needed to correct it.
As with any operation, there is a small risk of complications of anaesthesia.
Occasionally, the incision may get infected which may require a course of antibiotics.