Laparoscopy is a type of surgery that uses smaller cuts than you might expect.
The process takes its name from the laparoscope, a slender tool that has a tiny video camera and light on the end. When a surgeon inserts it through a small cut and into your body, they can look at a video monitor and see what’s happening inside you. Without those tools, they’d have to make a much larger opening.
Laparoscopic surgery is one kind of “minimally invasive” surgery. Doctors first used it for gallbladder surgery and gynecology operations. Then it came in play for the intestines, liver, and other organs.How It’s Done
Before this system came along, a surgeon who operated on his patient’s belly had to make a cut that was 6-to-12 inches long. That gave them enough room to see what they were doing and reach whatever they had to work on.
In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small cuts. Usually, each one is no more than a half-inch long. They insert a tube through each opening, and the camera and surgical instruments go through those. Then the surgeon does the operation.Benefits
Working this way has several advantages compared with traditional surgery. Because it involves less cutting:
• Have smaller scars.
• Get out of the hospital quicker.
• Feel less pain while the scars heal, and they heal quicker.
• Get back to normal activities sooner.
• May have less internal scarring.
With traditional methods, you might spend a week or more in the hospital for intestinal surgery, and your total recovery might take 4 to 8 weeks. If you have laparoscopic surgery, you might stay only 2 nights in the hospital and recover in 2 or 3 weeks. And a shorter hospital stay generally costs less.