minimally invasive surgery

In the mid-1980’s Surgery was revolutionized with the widespread popularization of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Though Laparoscopic Surgery was well utilized by gynecologists for years, the use of the Laparoscope for the removal of the gallbladder transformed an already technically perfect procedure into one in which postoperative pain, recovery period and time until return to complete functional capacity were all reduced drastically. Over a few years, most surgeons in this country and worldwide started performing Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Soon, other “minimally invasive” procedures began to appear, such as Laparoscopic Herniorrhaphy ( hernia repair) and Laparoscopic Bowel Resections. Today the concept of “minimal invasive” or “minimal access” surgery has penetrated most surgical subspecialties including Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Thoracic, Vascular, Cardiac Surgery and Plastic Surgery.

Many patients ask a surgeon if they perform “laser” surgery. Often the question that is really being asked is if they perform laparoscopic surgery. Laser Surgery and Laparoscopic Surgery are not synonymous. Lasers are simply a means of cautery, to control bleeding or to cut tissues without causing bleeding. Laparoscopic Surgery refers to the performance of intra-abdominal surgery through small ports inserted through the abdominal wall while visualizing the surgery with a camera (Laparoscope). While some surgeons use lasers in the performance of laparoscopic procedures this is not essential and most laparoscopic surgeons do not.