Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, keyhole surgery, or pinhole surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5-1.5 cm) as compared to larger incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures. Laparoscopic surgery includes operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas keyhole surgery performed on the thoracic or chest cavity is called thoracoscopic surgery.
The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope: a telescopic rod lens system, that is usually connected to a video camera. Also attached is a fiber optic cable system connected to a light source, to illuminate the operative field, inserted through a 5 mm or 10 mm cannula to view the operative field. The abdomen is insufflated with carbon dioxide gas to create a working and viewing space. The abdomen is essentially blown up like a balloon (insufflated), elevating the abdominal wall above the internal organs like a dome. The gas used is CO2, as it is common to the human body and can be removed by the respiratory system if it absorbs through tissue. It is also non-flammable, which is important due to the fact that electrosurgical devices are commonly used in laparoscopic procedures.
Laparoscopic surgery is commonly used to treat urologic conditions. These include kidney tumors, prostate cancer, varicoceles and kidney obstructions.
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