Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive, specialized medical technique for performing a surgery. Unlike an open surgery, a laparoscopic surgery uses multiple small incisions – 0.5-1 cm – known as ports to insert the laparoscope in the body. A laparoscope is a long, thin, flexible tool mounted with a tiny, high resolution video camera and high-intensity light, which when inserted into the body provides insights into the inner functioning of the targeted body organ or area. As the tool moves in the body, it sends images on a video monitor. This enables the doctor to know the exact condition of the area, decide the course of treatment and also perform surgeries to treat problems. The procedure can also be used to collect a biopsy or a sample tissue from the targeted organ or area. A laparoscopic surgery is also known as keyhole surgery and is recommended since it barely uses any cuts – generally four including the incision made to enter the body.
In all, a laparoscopic surgery can be used to treat problems affecting the body organs such as:
- Small intestine
- Large intestine
- Other reproductive organs
Benefits of a laparoscopic surgery
A laparoscopic procedure is one of the safest procedures when all non-invasive techniques fail. A laparoscopic surgery has many benefits such as:
- In-depth and realistic insights into the body organ or area
- Minimum and smaller cuts
- Barely any scars
- Less painful
- Quick healing
- Minimum side-effects
- Quick recovery time
- Less internal scarring
- Higher success rates
- Low chances of infection
Procedures performed through laparoscopic surgery
Some procedures which can be performed through a laparoscopic surgery include:
- Biliary Tract Operations: Procedure to remove gallstones and treat biliary tract diseases can be performed through laparoscopic surgery. Moreover, all uncomplicated cases of chronic cholecystitis can be treated with the help of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
- Tubal Sterilisation: A laparoscopic surgery can be used to perform a hysterectomy in which the uterus is detached from the inside of the body. It is then removed from the body in pieces through small abdominal incisions or in one-time through the vagina.
- Gastrointestinal Procedures: Various gastrointestinal conditions – such as infected appendix, abnormal adrenal growth, obesity, gallstones, problems of large intestine, gastric tract problems, hiatal hernia, inguinal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diseased/cancerous kidney, infected pancreas, testicular cancer, spleen removal, and others – can be treated through laparoscopic surgery.
- Abdominal Procedures: Various abdominal procedures including splenectomy, adrenalectomy and nephrectomy can be performed through laparoscopic surgeries. Moreover, in case of intra-abdominal malignant tumours, laparoscopy surgery is also very useful. Also, gastric (gastrojejunostomy), biliary (cholecystoen-terostomy), intestinal and colonic bypass – can be done through laparoscopy.
Moreover, with more advancement in medical technology, laparoscopic surgeries are increasingly being used in more complicated procedures to reduce complications, improve results, minimise scarring, enhance recovery and improve chances of success.
Risks of a Laparoscopic Surgery
While a laparoscopic surgery is an easy and simple procedure with minimum risks or side effects, yet one must be aware of the potential risks that might occur in some rare cases. These risks include:
- Damage to organs
- Damage to internal structures such as bowel, bladder, blood vessels, nerves, etc.
- Allergic reactions
- Blood clots
- Internal bleeding
Also, the overall health of a person and history of diseases plays a critical role in risks associated with laparoscopic surgery. Some conditions that put one at a higher risk are:
- Previous surgery
- Chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, etc
- Extreme endometriosis
- Compromised immunity
That said, there are minimum chances of occurrence of risks but some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Intense pain in the affected organ
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling and bleeding at the incision
However, even in cases where risks or symptoms post a laparoscopic procedure do occur, they can easily be resolved and cured to ensure 100 percent safety. Generally, as of today a laparoscopic procedure is one of the safest surgical methods with low risks and faster recovery time. Further, during the period of recovery, a person might experience symptoms for a few days, including:
- Sore throat
- Discomfort at incision
- Bloating and gas
These symptoms will fade away depending on case-to-case. In case, the symptoms do not go away and instead are aggravated by the following problems, one must immediately get medical help:
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Loss of conscious
- Worsening pain
- Increasing severity of infection at incision with fever, chills, swelling, discharge, etc.
For cases, where the risks or complications during or after the surgery arise – another treatment procedure might be required to resolve the problem.
Overall, there are multiple procedures which can be effectively performed through a laparoscopic surgery. It is the ideal surgical method and works effectively in conditions that can be treated with minimally-invasive medical techniques.