Laparoscopy (pronounced "lap-a-ROSS-coe-pee") is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions in the abdomen, using specialized instruments. A pencil-thin instrument called a laparoscope is used, and it gives the surgeon an exceptionally clear view, on a TV monitor, of the inside of the abdominal cavity.
This type of surgery is called 'minimally invasive' because of the very small incisions used. Yet major procedures can now be performed using this technique. The term laparoscopy is used when this type of surgery is performed in the abdomen. It's called arthroscopy when performed in a joint, and endoscopy when done through a natural opening in the body, such as the mouth or nose.
Almost all surgeries being done in open surgery are nowadays being performed. The most common however are cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder), appendicectomy (removal of the appendix), tubal ligation (sterilization), diagnostic laparoscopy, hernia repair.
The smaller incisions cause less damage to body tissue, organs, and muscles so that the patient
· Can go home sooner.
Depending on the kind of surgery, patients may be able to return home a few hours after the operation, or after a brief stay in the hospital.
· Recovers quickly.
Many people can return to work and their normal routine three to five days after surgery.
· Experiences fewer post-operative complications and less pain.
The amount of discomfort varies with the kind of surgery. In most cases, however, patients feel little soreness from the incisions, which heal within a few days. Most need little or no pain medicine.
· Has less scaring.
The incisions for most kinds of laparoscopic surgery heal without noticeable scars. In laparoscopic surgery on a woman's reproductive system, for instance, one incision usually can be hidden in the belly button area. The others can be placed low in the abdomen, where any scars would be covered by a bikini.