WHAT IS LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY?
The minimally invasive technique of laparoscopic surgery was successfully introduced for gynecological procedures in the early 1970's.
Since 1988, when laparoscopy was approved for cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), patient demand has contributed to a rapid expansion in the number of laparoscopic procedures performed. Today, 95 percent of gallbladder removals are accomplished laparoscopically, and the approach has been adapted successfully for other surgeries of the abdomen, chest, and vascular system.
Today's advanced digital technology allows magnification of the laparoscopic surgery site up to 20 times actual size, permitting surgeons to see anatomical structures in exquisite detail. New three-dimensional imaging technology allows the surgeon to “operate with two eyes” - viewing internal organs stereoscopically, rather than in two dimensions only. Intraoperative ultrasound allows “real time” scans of the surgery site as the operation proceeds, providing additional valuable information. .
SURGERY OPTION FOR A NEW ERA
Until recently, surgery was the most traditional of medical practices, employing techniques and instruments developed more than a century ago. But now patients have a new choice.
Laparoscopy- a minimally invasive approach to surgery of the abdomen -accomplishes traditional surgical goals while delivering less pain, faster recovery, and happier patients.
A FEW TINY INCISIONS:
Sometimes known as "keyhole" or "pinhole" surgery, laparoscopy typically entails four incisions of 5 to 10 ml 'llimeters - just large enough to admit the passage of the Surgeons light, a tiny video camera, and precision-crafted surgical instruments. Without the trauma of a long incision, both pain and healing time are greatly reduced.
Related benefits include less need for post-operative pain medication, plus an earlier return to physical activity and a normal diet. Less time in bed means fewer p?st-operative pulmonary and gastrointestinal complications and stronger blood circulation. Most patients can rebuild strength and return to normal life in days rather than weeks.
Laparoscopy was approved for gallbladder surgery six years ago. Since that time the field has advanced quickly through the development of new technologies. Three-dimensional imaging and intraoperative ultrasound, available only recently, allow surgeons a better view of internal structures, making laparoscopy a safe option for a growing list of more complex surgical procedures.
CANDIDATES FOR LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY:
Any adult who is a good candidate for elective surgery can benefit from laparoscopy. Those who are especially well suited include:
The laparoscopy option is particularly appealing to young and middle-aged adults with pressing career and family responsibilities. These patients are often attracted by the "high tecch” aspect of laparoscopy, as well as by the rapid recovery it offers.
Laparoscopys advantages for patients over 65 were demonstrated in a study comparing the outcomes of laparoscopic and traditionally performed bowel resections in elderly colon cancer patients. The laparoscopy patients had better post-operative heart and pulmonary function, less pain, fewer complications of surgery, and less post-operative time spent in bed. Two years later, cancer recurrence in the two groups was equivalent (two-year outcomes normally are strong predictors of future bowel cancer recurrence).
INGUINAL HERNIA PATIENTS:
Laparoscopy is in demand among patients with inguinal hernia based on superior patient comfort and quick recovery. The outcomes of hernia correction by experienced laparoscopic surgeons are equivalent those performed traditionally.
PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEARTBURN:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease -a condition in which stomach acids move upward from the stomac into the esophagus - can now be treated by laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication as an alternative to major invasive surgery. The Center is one of the few facilities in the U.S. with surgeons practiced in this laparoscopic application.
PATIENTS REQUIRING COLORECTAL SURGERY:
Improvements in laparoscopic surgical instruments and imaging now extend the laparoscopy option to bowel resection for the treatment of colorectal canc colorectal polyps, diverticular disease, Crohn's dise chronic ulcerative colitis, and rectal prolapse.