Laparoscopic surgery, also known as ‘keyhole surgery’, is carried out with the aid of a camera inserted into the abdomen or pelvis. A small incision is made in the abdominal wall through which a laparoscope, a flexible lighted tube with a camera attached, is inserted so that structures within the abdomen and pelvis can be examined. The abdominal cavity is made more visible by distending it with an absorbable gas, usually carbon dioxide. A number of major and minor surgeries may be carried out. A variety of tubes and long, narrow instruments can be inserted through the same incision in the skin, or via other small incisions, facilitating a number of procedures without the need for a large surgical incision. The surgeon uses these instruments to manipulate, cut and sew tissue. A number of procedures can be performed laparoscopically, including gallbladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), oesophageal surgery (laparoscopic fundoplication), colon surgery (laparoscopic colectomy), and surgery on the stomach and spleen. Most patients receive general anaesthetic during the procedure.
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Dr Gary McKay BMed FRACS CSSANZ
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