Laparoscopic surgery or minimal invasive surgery is a special surgical method, the most important development of general surgery of the 20th century. The first laparoscopic operation ever made was a cholecystectomy in 1987. Ever since 1990, the method has known continuous improvements; today it is applied to many abdominal operations, such as those performed to treat hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, duodenal ulcer, liver and pancreas diseases, appendicitis, malignant obesity, gynecological diseases and various types of cancer (of the large intestine, prostate, endocrine glands etc.).
Patients who undergo laparoscopic operations enjoy the advantages of the method which, due to the smaller incisions and the less tissue injuries involved as opposed to the traditional “open” procedure, include minimal blood loss, less postoperative pain, minimal postoperative complications, faster recovery and return to work, and lower cost of the procedure.
Laparoscopic procedures are done through 3-4 incisions up to 1cm. Those incisions are the ports for the trocars, the tube-shaped medical devises equipped with seal valves. The smaller trocars are used to bring in the body specially designed, delicate medical instruments (graspers, scissors etc.), while the central trocar is used to insert a microcamera, which essentially becomes the “eyes” of the surgeon, who otherwise has no direct optical contact with the interior of the abdomen. The images taken by the camera are enlarged and projected on a monitor, giving the surgeon a closer view. With delicate and skillful handling of the instruments, which he sees through the monitor, the surgeon can perform any simple or complex procedure, exactly as he/she would have done in open surgery, through much smaller incisions.
Laparoscopic procedures must be performed in specialized centers having the proper laparoscopic and anesthesiology equipment and an experienced and highly skilled surgical team, which follows the method’s international developments and the technological evolution for the instruments and the equipment, to offer patients the best possible care.
In general, laparoscopic surgery has revolutionized the way surgical operations are performed; it is constantly evolving and enriched with the help of technological progress and is expected to become the future of surgery.