Laparoscopic surgery also referred to as minimally invasive surgery describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments.
During the surgical procedure, small incisions of up to half an inch are made and plastic tubes called ports are placed through these incisions.
The camera and the instruments are then introduced through the ports which allow access to the inside of the patient.
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Laparoscopy is easier on the patient because it uses a few very small incisions. For example, traditional "open surgery" on the abdomen usually requires a four- to five-inch incision through layers of skin and muscle. In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor usually makes two to three incisions that are about a half-inch long. The smaller incisions cause less damage to body tissue, organs, and muscles so that the patient
Depending on the kind of surgery, patients may be able to return home a few hours after the operation, or after a brief stay in the hospital.
Many people can return to work and their normal routine three to five days after surgery. In contrast, traditional laparotomy may require a person to limit daily activities for four to eight weeks.
The amount of discomfort varies with the kind of surgery. In most cases, however, patients feel little soreness from the incisions, which heal within a few days. Most need little or no pain medicine.
The incisions for most kinds of laparoscopic surgery heal without noticeable scars. In laparoscopic surgery on a woman's reproductive system, for instance, one incision usually can be hidden in the belly button area. The others can be placed low in the abdomen, where any scars would be covered by a bikini.
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