Laproscopic Surgery

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Laparoscopic surgery is used to treat a wide range of abdominal and gastrointestinal disorders. Learn more about the benefits off this minimally invasive technique and what you can expect during a procedure.

What is laparoscopic surgery?

The term laparoscopic surgery refers to any surgical procedure that utilizes a camera, several small incisions and specialized instruments. It is less invasive than the traditional “open” surgery, which requires a large incision to be made on the abdominal wall.

During laparoscopic surgery small incisions are made in different parts of the abdominal wall. A laparoscope, a long tube with a camera and light on the end, is then inserted into the body through one of these incisions. This projects an image of the inside of the body onto a monitor in the operating room, allowing the surgeon to see the surgical area without having to open the abdominal cavity. The surgical procedures can then be performed using special small instruments that are inserted into the other incisions.

Benefits of laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Less postoperative discomfort
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less scarring

Laparoscopic operations are performed under general anesthesia and do carry risks of complications during and after the operation.  You should discuss any concerns or questions with your surgeon prior to scheduling your operation.

Some procedures that are commonly performed laparoscopically include:

  • Left colon resection (Left hemicolectomy or proctosigmoidectomy) – removal of a diseased section of the rectum and sigmoid colon.
  • Right hemicolectomy (or ileocolectomy or ileocolic resection) – removal of the right side of the colon, or the last segment of the small intestine (which is attached to the right side of the colon)
  • Total abdominal colectomy – removal of most of the large intestine.
  • Fecal diversion (colostomy or ileostomy) – creation of an opening between the surface of the skin and the small intestine or colon.
  • Abdominoperineal resection – removal of the anus and rectum.
  • Rectopexy – procedure to treat rectal prolapse.
  • Total proctocolectomy – removal of both the rectum and the colon
  • Appendectomy – removal of an inflamed appendix.
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy- removal of an inflamed gall bladder.
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