What Are The Advantages Of Laparoscopy?

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

  • can go home sooner.

    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.

  • recovers quickly.

    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.

  • experiences fewer post-operative complications and less pain.

    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.

  • has less scaring.

    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.

Nice To Know:

Q. My sister had her gallbladder removed withBand-Aid surgery. Now I need a similar operation and my doctor wants to use the old “open” surgery that will leave a bigger scar. Should I insist that the doctor use the newer surgery?

A. There may be good reasons why your doctor wants to use the traditional laparotomy operation. People who underwent previous abdominal surgery, for instance, sometimes have internal scar tissue that makes laparoscopy difficult. Your gallbladder disease may be more serious than your sister’s. There may be other problems that favor the traditional operation. If you feel uncomfortable with the doctor’s plans, consider getting a second opinion.

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