A modern, minimally invasive type of operating on the human body is laparoscopic surgery. This is also known as keyhole surgery or band-aid surgery. This is because the incisions made in laparoscopic surgical techniques are far smaller than those made with more conventional surgical methods.

What is laparoscopic surgery?

The key features of this type of surgery are smaller sized incisions and the use of a laparoscope as well as other specialized surgical instruments. The surgeon will make very small incisions in the abdomen to insert the laparoscope which lets the surgeon look inside the abdominal cavity without actually opening it up;  whereas, traditional surgery would have required an incision of about 4 to 5 inches to be made through the skin and the muscle. With laparoscopic techniques, surgeons need to make far smaller incisions.


Once the laparoscope is inserted into the body, the surgeon gets a clear view of area or organ that is being operated on, by virtue of a telescopic camera and light fitted on the laparoscope, which beans the images onto a TV monitor.

The surgeon looks at the monitor to perform the surgery, by inserting special surgical instruments into the tiny incisions made.

What is laparoscopic surgery used for?

Laparoscopic surgical techniques can be used for many gynecological procedures such as operating on ovarian cysts, to treat endometriosis or pelvic adhesions or to find out more about and treat pelvic pain, the cause of which is not clearly known. It can also be used to treat some of the causes of infertility.

Procedures that otherwise needed major abdominal surgery, such as hysterectomy, can also be performed using laparoscopic techniques now. Interventions to resolve an ectopic pregnancy can also be done via a laparoscopic procedure. Even long term methods of family planning such as tubal ligation can now be performed using laparoscopic surgery.

In addition, procedures for removing gallstones or the spleen, treating inguinal hernia, problems with the intestines, appendicitis as well as certain conditions like GERD can be treated using laparoscopic methods.

Certain types of surgery (arthroscopy) involving the shoulder, knee, lower back or spine can be performed in this minimally invasive manner. When the laparoscope is inserted through the mouth or nose or other natural opening of the body, it is known as endoscopy.

Advantages of laparoscopic surgery

The main advantage of these minimally invasive surgical techniques is the fact that very small incisions are required to be made so that healing is quicker and recovery time is much shorter than the conventional surgical techniques.

The patient undergoes far less pain due to the smaller incisions and there are lower chances of surgical complications. A person needs to stay in hospital for a shorter duration (in some cases out-patient procedures are possible) and can be back to normal activities sooner.

There is also the fact that there is less scarring and disfigurement with two or more smaller incisions rather than with one large scar measuring several inches. There is also the advantage that the chances of a person developing post-operative hernia are lower with laparoscopic procedures.

In some laparoscopic procedures, it may not be necessary for the patient to be given general anesthesia. Local anesthesia along with medication to stay calm and relaxed may suffice.

Disadvantages of laparoscopic surgery

Though this type of surgery is minimally invasive and is associated with less damage to the body’s tissue, complications can and do occur. When problems do happen they could include internal bleeding and/or damage to internal organs. The skill of the surgeon and their experience are very important factors here, without which problems are more likely to occur.

More often than not, general anesthesia may be required for laparoscopic surgery, which can in cases cause complications and significant patient discomfort.

Additionally laparoscopy may not be suitable for certain types of patients. Those who are very obese, those who have certain health conditions or those who smoke may not be able to take advantage of it.

In some cases, laparoscopic surgery may not be possible because of previous abdominal surgery which may have caused some amount of scar tissue, which canmake the laparoscopy difficult. In cases, a surgery may be started laparoscopically, but may not be completed successfully. It may have to be converted to traditional open abdominal surgery in some cases.
Read more at http://www.womenhealthzone.com/tests-and-treatments/laparoscopy/laparoscopic-surgery/