What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery could be the greatest evolution of the 20th century, in General Surgery. The word “laparoscopy” derives from the Greek words “lapara” - meaning 'flank, side', and “skopo” - meaning 'to see'.
So, while during an open surgery there are great incisions made in the abdomen so that the organs can be viewed, in laparoscopic surgery the surgeon performs the operation in the abdomen or pelvis through small incisions with the aid of a camera and can see the organs zoomed in up to a screen.
The “vision” of performing surgery through a camera, was achieved with the help of technology and science. The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope, a long fiber optic cable system which allows viewing of the affected area by snaking the cable from a more distant, but more easily accessible location. In the future, a 3D image will help the surgeons even more when performing a laparoscopic surgery.
Laparoscopy is usually performed through a small incision into the belly button with the patient under general anesthesia in the operating room. A camera is mounted to a long tube about as big around as one’s first finger, which is placed into the incision in the belly button and into the abdominal cavity. Once inside carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is used to expand the abdominal cavity so the internal organs can be visualized. If treatment is necessary one or more smaller incisions can be made near the bikini line. Long instruments with trocars, are placed through these incisions so that tissue can be cut, grasped, removed, or burned. Specialized instruments such as sterile plastic baggies, retractors, or lasers can also be used through these incisions.
Working this way has several advantages compared with traditional surgery.
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