Laparoscopic or “minimally invasive” surgery is a specialized technique for performing surgery. It is also known as keyhole or band aid surgery due to the size of the surgical incisions. In the past, this technique was commonly used for gynaecologic surgery and for gall bladder surgery.
Over the last 10 years the use of this technique has expanded into intestinal surgery. In traditional “open” surgery the surgeon uses a single incision to enter into the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery uses several 0.5-1cm incisions. Each incision is called a “port.” At each port a tubular instrument known as a trocar is inserted. Specialized instruments and a special camera known as a laparoscope are passed through the trocars during the procedure. At the beginning of the procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a working and viewing space for the surgeon. The laparoscope transmits images from the abdominal cavity to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room. During the operation the surgeon watches detailed images of the abdomen on the monitor. This system allows the surgeon to perform the same operations as traditional surgery but with smaller incisions.
Compared to traditional open surgery, patients often experience less pain, a shorter recovery, and less scarring with laparoscopic surgery.
Most intestinal surgeries can be performed using the laparoscopic technique. These include surgery for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, cancer, rectal prolapse and severe constipation. In the past there had been concern raised about the safety of laparoscopic surgery for cancer operations. Recently, several studies involving hundreds of patients have shown that laparoscopic surgery is safe for certain colorectal cancers.
Laparoscopic surgery is as safe as traditional open surgery. At the beginning of a laparoscopic operation the laparoscope is inserted through a small incision near the belly button (umbilicus). The surgeon initially inspects the abdomen to determine whether laparoscopic surgery may be safely performed. If there is a large amount of inflammation or if the surgeon encounters other factors that prevent a clear view of the structures, the surgeon may need to make a larger incision in order to complete the operation safely.
We routinely perform Laparoscopic procedures for Appendicitis, Gall Stones, Hernia, Colon and Rectal Cancers as well as advanced Laparoscopic surgeries of the kidney, adrenals and other Cancers at our centre.