Laparoscopic Surgery: What It is and Why It Is Better

What You Should Know About Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Laparoscopic Surgery Diagram. A.D.A.M. at

Definition: Laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery, is a technique that allows surgery to be performed without the long traditional incision that was typical of all surgeries decades ago.

Laparoscopic Surgery

When comparing surgical procedures side by side, the laparoscopic technique, when performed by a skilled surgeon is typically superior to the same procedure performed by an equally skilled surgeon using the traditional open technique.

Laparoscopic surgeries are less invasive, which typically reduces scarring, healing time, and complications after surgery.  The risks of surgery, in general, are decreased using laparoscopic techniques.

How Laparoscopic Surgery Is Performed

Instead of using one long incision through which the surgeon inserts surgical instruments and fingers while performing the procedure, the laparoscopic procedure uses multiple small incisions.  During laparoscopic procedures, the small incisions are used to insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments.  The surgeons hands and fingers remain outside the body, and the surgery is performed by the surgeon using a television monitor to visualize the inside of the body and the position of the instruments.  

Like the open procedure, the incisions made by the surgeon cut through the skin, muscle and other tissue.  However, multiple small incisions are far easier and quick to heal than one long incision, even if the total length of the small incisions is the same as the longer one.

 This is because the tissues of the body, especially muscle, are better able to heal multiple small incisions than one large one.  In the long term, muscle is stronger after healing from the small incisions than the large one.

Related Surgery Information: Incision Care Made Easy

Also Known As: minimally invasive surgery

Common Misspellings: laporoscopic, laproscopic

Examples: The surgeon chose to use the laparoscopic approach because of the lower risk and faster healing time.

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