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gynecological laparoscopic surgery - Advancements in Laparoscopic Surgery

Posted Nov 24 2011 10:35am

Laparoscopy is also known as "minimally invasive surgery", "belly-button surgery", and often incorrectly referred to as "laser surgery". Laparoscopy is a surgical technique that uses a 1 cm, or smaller, telescope attached to a video camera, usually placed through the navel, and a few customized instruments placed through one or two smaller skin cuts low on the abdomen while viewing a TV monitor. This allows the surgeon to view the inside of the body without needing to make a large incision that divides skin and muscle. There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open surgical procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions and a shorter recovery time.

In gynecology, laparoscopy may be used to diagnose female infertility, by inspecting the outside of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. With laparoscopic gynecology the uses for diagnosing female reproductive organs requires a special type of laparoscope called a fertiloscope. A fertiloscope is modified to make it suitable for trans-vaginal application.

A surgeon trained in advanced laparoscopic gynecology has the surgical skills to perform operations that are traditionally done through a large incision. Some of these surgeries may include:
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix)
  • Removal of large ovarian cysts
  • Treatment of stage 3 and 4 endometriosis
  • Removal of large fibroids
  • Cutting of adhesions that are a source of pain
  • Treatment of Genuine Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor reconstruction
  • Vaginal vault prolapse
  • Uterine prolapse 
After laparoscopic surgery, patients will often go home the same day or the next. If these surgeries are performed through a large incision, patients often have to stay two or three nights in the hospital. In addition, the recovery time after large abdominal incisions is approximately six weeks compared to 1-2 weeks (depending on the procedure) for laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery has the added benefits of less adhesion (scar-tissue) formation and smaller (less than one inch) incisions.

Also, in the field of weight loss or bariatric surgery, laparoscopy has become very common & successful. Sleeve gastrectomy Seattle surgeons say is growing in popularity, thought at the moment it is only performed in specific geographic locations, due to very few surgeons being trained in this procedure. With sleeve gastrectomy, the upper and outer most stretchable portion of the stomach is removed laparsocopically, thereby considerably decreasing the capacity of the stomach from about a quart to about 2-4 ounces. So far, the Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure has been incredibly successful. Because unlike other weight loss surgery procedures it preserves all the important structural elements of the stomach and the nerves that control stomach function, the stomach is left much smaller, but one that is close to a normal stomach in terms of function. It is ideal for patients who are busy professionals, who travel a lot, considering pregnancy, seeking weight loss in preparation for an orthopedic procedure and are averse to having a foreign body.  

The Sleeve Gastrectomy provides a fairly quick predictable weight loss. It allows patients to enjoy a wider variety of foods than would be typical for other weight loss surgeries. Among all the operations for weight loss it is the most “pill- friendly” operation, so patients don’t have to make major changes in their medications. Anti-inflammatory medications that are generally not recommended after weight loss surgeries are better tolerated with this operation than with any other operation. Unlike the Adjustable Gastric Band this operation does not require periodic adjustments. Patients generally go home the same day or within 24 hrs. Weight loss is achieved by restricting the quantity of food consumed and also by significantly reducing appetite hormone (ghrelin) production in the stomach.  Patients generally report feeling full after eating 2-4 oz of solid food.

Thanks to advances in laparoscopy, there are many new types of surgeries which are now safer and more effective than ever. Patients seeking laparoscopic surgery can rest assured that they will experience a faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, and less postoperative pain than when compared to conventional open surgery.
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