‘Scope’ Surgery Speeds Recovery
It used to be that a patient who had surgery ended up with a line of stitches to close the wound. Now, in many cases, patients will only have a few small incisions.
That is because more and more procedures are being performed with laparoscopic surgery (pronounced "lap-are-oh-SKOP-ick"). Laparoscopic surgery, also referred to as minimally invasive surgery, uses a video camera and several thin instruments which are inserted into the body through small incisions.
Laparoscopic surgery is now routinely done on the gallbladder, stomach, intestines, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and female reproductive organs..
About 25 years ago, orthopaedic surgeons were the first to use “scopes” on knee and shoulder repair procedures.
Advantages of laparoscopy
There are several advantages to laparoscopy:
- Trauma to the skin and muscles is reduced
- Recovery is faster
- Post-operative pain is less
- Because patients can get out of bed sooner, the risk of complications is reduced.
- Infection rates are also lower because delicate tissues are not exposed to the air over long periods as they are when the body is wide open in traditional operations.
Patients should experience shorter hospital stays, an earlier return to full activities, much smaller scars and often less internal scarring.
How does laparoscopic surgery work?
Surgeons make a small cut in the skin and then introduce a harmless gas, such as carbon dioxide, into the body cavity to expand it and create a large working space.
A small cut of about half an inch is made. The surgeon inserts a rod-shaped telescope attached to a camera into the incision. The camera transmits an image of the organs inside the abdomen onto a television monitor. Under high magnification, diseased organs can be examined with minimal trauma to the patient.
Long, narrow surgical instruments can be inserted in other incisions to perform surgery.
For more information about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital’s surgical services or a referral to a Sinai-Grace surgeon, call 313-966-4800.