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Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure which allows the surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and the pelvis (the lower part of the trunk between the abdomen and thighs) without having to make very large incisions on the skin. This type of procedure is also known as a keyhole surgery or a minimally invasive surgery. It is low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions. This method is successfully being used recently for both diagnosing as well as treating the patients.
Laparoscopy uses an instrument called a laparoscope to look at the affected organs. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front. The instrument is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall. The camera projects the images to a monitor.
Laparoscopic surgery is associated with several advantages/benefits over the traditional open surgery. Hence laparoscopic surgery has recently gained immense popularity both in the doctor’s fraternity as well as the patients.
While in an open procedure, one large abdominal incision is made to access of structures inside both for examination and surgery, but in a laparoscopic procedure, only a very small incision of up to 1.5 cm in length is made on the abdomen. A surgery with a small cut is made possible by inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide to expand the abdominal walls to enable the surgeon to have a clear view of the structures inside, as well as provide enough space to perform the surgery. A laparoscope is then inserted through the incision to visualize the internal organs under magnification for better examination and to perform the surgery precisely. Two or three more small incisions are placed to provide access to other small instruments to perform the surgery. Sometimes, if required another 3-4 cm incision is placed to remove the surgical specimen. Once the operation is completed then the carbon dioxide is expelled from the abdomen and the incisions are closed.
A common belief is that laparoscopic or minimal access surgeries are not safe in treating cancer. But this is not true. The surgical procedure, extent of removal of the tumor remains the same in both open and minimal access surgery. The only difference between the two is the external approach with respect to the incision. The abdominal wall consists of muscles, which needs to be cut in open surgery which results in more abdominal wall pain. While, the small incisions in minimal access surgery is associated with lesser pain due to minimal injury to muscles of abdominal wall. Hence, MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY IS SAFE IN CANCER SURGERIES, WHEN INDICATED.
The procedure of laparoscopy is used for diagnosingand evaluating the stage of disease where as laparoscopic cancer surgery is the procedure used to resect the tumor.
Laparoscopy basically is a dual dimension tool used extensively recently in the field of oncology for both to diagnose as well as treat. In oncology, the stage of the disease defines further treatment. Sometimes imaging modality may not be able to stage the disease accurately when a diagnostic laparoscopy has to be performed to look to small metastases inside the abdomen that may not picked by imaging.
When laparoscopy is used to stage the disease, then surface of liver, free fluid in abdomen, peritonuem, non-regional lymph nodes are commonly evaluated. Presence of metastases in these regions will upstage the patient and aid the surgeon in treatment decision.
1. In the recent times, laparoscopic surgery is a frequently applied technique for a wide array of surgeries. Significant improvements or advancements in the field of surgery is made possible by continuous extensive research and study which has resulted in the state-of-the-art instruments/equipment, scanning/imaging, and surgical techniques enabling high success rates in the laparoscopic surgical procedures and also making it more safer and feasible.
2. Laparoscopic surgery, when seen through the patient's view, has the advantages of avoiding large open wounds or incisions and thus decreasing pain and discomfort to a considerable degree. Patients tend to have fewer side effects of the analgesia as less intake of analgesia is required. The use of fine instruments are prone to cause lesser tissue trauma and blood loss. Laparoscopic surgery is a boon for the patients due to a plethora of benefits it offers.
3. Laparoscopic surgeries provides a sense of assurance of quick recovery, shorter span of dealing with the pain and discomfort, early return to normalcy even for the patients with major illnesses such as cancer which required open surgeries earlier.
4. At the present time, laparoscopic surgery is the most preferred form of surgery. In the recent past there has been a steadfast change in the way the surgeries are performed because of the advancement in technology. Laparoscopic surgeries are here to stay with both the patients and the doctors vouching for it. Laparoscopic surgery provides an overall wellness and ensures early return to normalcy for the patient at a shorter span.
5. Laparoscopic surgery is increasingly becoming popular in the modern times due to its multi-dimensional benefits. As the benefits of the laparoscopic surgery is more apparent and outweighs the traditional open surgery, patients and doctors alike, prefer laparoscopic surgery as the mode of treatment.