If you were to be told that you need to have surgery for a medical condition, it’s understandable if your eyes widened a bit or your heart beat a bit faster. No one wants to have surgery, for any reason, but for many of us it’s a necessity at some point in our lifetime. Sometimes the need is urgent, such as surgery for a traumatic injury, while other times we have the option to plan more in advance when and where a surgical procedure can take place.
Regardless of whether the need for surgery is urgent or not, there are essentially two general types of surgery. An “open surgery” is the more traditionally understood type of surgery, in which an incision of typically 6-12 inches allows the surgeon to openly view and access the organs or tissues in need of repair or removal.
The other type of surgery is a “minimally-invasive” surgery, or laparoscopic, which involves much smaller incisions. A tiny fiber-optic tool, or laparoscopes, with a camera and light on the end is inserted through the small incision. The laparoscope transmits images in real time on a high-definition video monitor, allowing a surgeon to perform the surgery in a similar manner as if it was an open surgery.
Advantages Of Laparoscopic Procedures
The biggest difference is that incisions for laparoscopic surgeries are much smaller than those required for surgeons to perform open surgeries.
As a result, if a surgeon mentions that your surgery can be done through a minimally-invasive procedure like laparoscopy, there are several reasons you might be glad to have this option rather than a traditional open surgery. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery versus open surgeries, include:
- Smaller incisions, resulting in less scarring.
- Shorter hospital stays, often with a same day discharge.
- Shorter overall recovery time.
- Less pain, reducing the need for opioid or other pain medications.
- Reduced risk of infections.
- Lower risk of hemorrhaging.
- Lower rate of incisional hernias.
Patients often comment that the minimally-invasive procedure was much easier than they imagined it would be, and that recovery time was shorter than they expected.
When Is Laparoscopy Used?
Aside from surgery, laparoscopy is also often used for diagnostic purposes to explore the source of an abdominal, pelvic, or chest pain. Depending on what the surgeon is able to view via the laparoscope, he or she can then determine if surgery is necessary. This is helpful when other diagnostic procedures such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs are unable to diagnose a persistent symptom or problem.
Depending on a patient’s health and particular medical condition, laparoscopic surgeries can be performed within the abdomen, pelvic cavity, and chest. Some of the more common laparoscopic surgeries performed by the surgeons at Evansville Surgical Associates include:
- Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
- Removal of liver tissue
- Removal of pancreatic tissue
- Hernia repair
- Bariatric procedures
- Esophagus repair
- Gastric repair
- Partial removal or repair of colon or small bowel
- Removal or repair of spleen
- Adrenal gland removal or repair
- Lymph node biopsy and dissection
- Lung biopsy or removal of tissue
- Diaphragm repair
Laparoscopic procedures are constantly advancing, so the types of procedures patients may benefit from are likely to continue to evolve. In addition to these laparoscopic procedures, Evansville Surgical Associates’ surgeons utilize minimally-invasive robotically-assisted surgeries when it’s to a patient’s greatest advantage. Robotically-assisted surgeries allow for a great degree of precision and flexibility, as well as smaller incisions than open surgeries.
The surgeons at Evansville Surgical Associates are certified by the American Board of Surgery and have the most up-to-date advanced training in laparoscopic, robotic, and open surgical techniques. Many of them also have subspecialty training and certification in vascular surgery and trauma or critical care surgery.
At Evansville Surgical Associates, we are dedicated to serving our patients with the most state-of-the-art advanced surgical procedures in the Tri-State region. Established in 1969, Evansville Surgical Associates celebrates 50 years of providing leading-edge comprehensive and compassionate surgical care. Learn more about our physicians and our practices by visiting our website, or by calling us at 812.424.8231 or 800.264.8231.