Laparoscopic surgery also referred to as minimally invasive surgery describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments. During the surgical procedure, small incisions are made and plastic tubes called ports are placed through these incisions. The camera and the instruments are then introduced through the ports which allow access to the inside of the patient.
The camera transmits an image of the organs inside the abdomen onto a television monitor. The surgeon is not able to see directly into the patient without the traditional large incision. The video camera becomes a surgeon’s eyes in laparoscopy surgery, since the surgeon uses the image from the video camera positioned inside the patient’s body to perform the procedure.
Benefits of minimally invasive or laparoscopic procedures are:
- less postoperative discomfort since the incisions are much smaller
- quicker recovery times
- shorter hospital stays
- earlier return to full activities
- much smaller scars
- there may be less internal scarring when the procedures are performed in a minimally invasive fashion compared to standard open surgery.