Laparoscopic surgery

There was a time not too long ago when surgery meant that your body would undergo a major physical disruption. This was a time when your skin would be cut open in whatever area the surgery had to take place and you would require a large number of stitches and a great period of recovery time once the surgery was done. During this time, surgery was a very invasive procedure and it lead to many risks including the risk of infection. Surgery also meant you would spend a greater amount of time under anesthesia and would have no choice but to endure a major life interruption for recovery time. Of course, that seemed to be no big deal because there was no alternative. Now with the availability of laparoscopic surgery, most patients can recover from surgical procedures relatively quickly and easily with less risk of infection.

Understanding Laparoscopic Surgery
The surgical procedure known as laparoscopic surgery is a relatively new technique that involves making very small incisions in a patient about to undergo surgery. These incisions allow for the insertion of a small lens and camera as well as instruments to actually conduct the surgery. The camera is attached to the end of a tube which is snaked into the body and rests in the general vicinity of the organ to be operated on.

In traditional surgical environments, surgeons must open the area of the surgery so they can see the organs or muscles about to be operated on. During laparoscopic surgery, the internal organs and areas are shown on a television thanks to the camera lens. This saves the patient from the traditional invasive procedure. Because there are also incisions for the tools, the surgeon does not have to get his or her entire hands into the area either.

Laparoscopic surgery generally requires that the patient’s abdomen or pelvis be expanded by blowing gas into the region. That gives the camera more space and makes everything in the area easier to see. This can be uncomfortable but is generally tolerated without incident.

Risks of Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery presents fewer risks to patients than traditional surgery, but that doesn’t mean it is without risk. There are incidents in which the bowel and /or blood vessels of the patient are injured and result in hemorrhage. Some patients might experience great pain as the gas sent into the abdomen pushes on the diaphragm. Patients with lung problems may not handle the introduction of gas well and, since the gas is cold, it could result in hypothermia.

The risks that patients are exposed to when undergoing laparoscopic surgery are very rare and much less problematic and damaging than those presented by open surgical procedures. But they do exist and they should be discussed with your doctor and surgeon prior to undergoing any procedure. He or she will be able to look at your medical history and determine which procedure is safest for you, based on your individual health rather than the general odds of something negative occurring.

The Future of Laparoscopic Surgery
The future of laparoscopic surgery is tremendously exciting. Because the camera within the abdominal cavity or pelvis remove the need for the surgeon’s eyes to actually rest on the surgical area itself, robotic surgery can be done. With robotic laparoscopic surgery, a patient can be operated on by a surgeon in another town, state or country as the surgeon views the laparoscopic camera information and a robot executes the surgeon’s directions on the patient. This can result in significant cost reduction since patient’s no longer need to travel for surgery and also increases the quality of surgeon that patients have access to. When combining technologies to this end, the possibilities become almost limitless.

Last updated on Oct 5th, 2010 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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