Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy.
The laparoscope has a telescopic rod lens system, that is connected to a video camera Also attached is a fiber optic cable system connected to a ‘cold’ light source to illuminate the field.
The abdomen is usually insufflated, or essentially blown up like a balloon, with carbon dioxide gas. This elevates the abdominal wall above the internal organs like a dome to create a working and viewing space. CO2 is used because it is common to the body and can be absorbed by tissue and removed by the respiratory system.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include:
• Reduced hemorrhaging, which reduces the chance of needing a blood transfusion.
• Smaller incision, which reduces pain and shortens recovery time, as well as resulting in less post-operative scarring.
• Less pain, leading to less pain medication needed.
• Reduced exposure of internal organs to possible external contaminants thereby reduced risk of acquiring infections.