Laparoscopic or “minimally invasive” surgery is a specialized technique for performing surgery. It allows us to perform complex procedures within the abdomen without having to place our hands directly into the body cavity. Using this approach, patients often experience less pain, a shorter recovery and less scarring.
Laparoscopic surgery is as safe as traditional open surgery. A laparoscope is inserted through a small incision near the belly button (umbilicus). We first inspect the abdomen to determine whether laparoscopic surgery may be safely performed.
Laparoscopic surgery uses several 0.5 to 1cm incisions called “ports.” At each port a tubular instrument known as a trochar is inserted. Specialized instruments and a special camera known as a laparoscope are passed through the trochars during the procedure. At the beginning of the procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a working and viewing space.
The laparoscope transmits images from the abdominal cavity to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room. During the operation, we watch detailed images of the abdomen on the monitor. This system allows us to perform the same operations as traditional surgery but with smaller incisions.