Laparoscopy meaning an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. It can either be used to inspect and diagnose a condition or to perform surgery. Laparoscopic surgery also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy.
Keyhole surgery makes use of images displayed on TV monitors to magnify the surgical elements.
Laparoscopic surgery includes operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas keyhole surgery performed on the thoracic or chest cavity is called thoracoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery belong to the broader field of endoscopy.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions and hemorrhaging, and shorter recovery time.
The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope. There are two types: (1) a telescopic rod lens system, that is usually connected to a video camera (single chip or three chip), or (2) a digital laparoscope where the charge-coupled device is placed at the end of the laparoscope, eliminating the rod lens system. Also attached is a fiber optic cable system connected to a 'cold' light source (halogen or xenon), to illuminate the operative field, inserted through a 5 mm or 10 mm cannula or trocar to view the operative field.
Laparoscopy has many benefits. There is less pain after laparoscopic surgery than with open abdominal surgery, which involves larger incisions, longer hospital stays, and a longer recovery. The risk of infection also is lower. You will be able to recover from laparoscopic surgery faster than from open abdominal surgery. It can be done as outpatient surgery, so you usually will not have to spend the night in the hospital. The smaller incisions that are used allow you to heal faster and have smaller scars.