Minimally invasive surgery, also called laparoscopy, refers to different types of surgical procedures that are performed through tiny incisions in the body using special instruments. One of the common methods used for minimally invasive surgical procedures employs the use of a laparoscope which is a pencil thin instrument with a tube that is inserted into the injured or ailing part of the body. The laparoscope is normally connected to a visual monitor that gives the surgeon a clear view the part being observed or operated.
Basically, a laparoscope has special lenses similar to those of a telescope that magnify the organs or structures inside the body with the help of a powerful light. It has a miniature video camera that transmits images of internal organs to a TV monitor. Other surgical instruments needed for the minimally invasive operation can be inserted through the laparoscope.
Minimally invasive procedures are by different terms depending on the area of the body being observed or operated on. For example, laparoscopy is generally used to describe the use of minimally invasive procedures performed in the abdomen. When the procedure is performed on a joint the operation is referred to as arthroscopy and as an endoscopy when it is performed through the mouth, nose or any other natural opening in the body. In each case the procedure is referred to as minimally invasive because very small, and minimal, incisions are made on the body in the process.
Some of the advantages of laparoscopy over open surgery procedures include reduced hemorrhaging, less pain, same day discharge from hospital, reduced risk of organ contamination by the outside environment, quicker recovery, and less body scarification. However, despite its being an outpatient procedure meaning that the patient checks out of hospital on the same day, the patient is required to consult the doctor every 2 weeks after the operation for observation.