Patient Information: Common
Questions About Laparoscopy
Wendy Winer, R.N., B.S.N., CNOR
What is minimally invasive surgery?
invasive surgery (MIS) is surgery done with either no incisions
or very small incisions. This surgery may require no anesthetic,
IV conscious sedation or general anesthesia. These surgeries
may be performed in a qualified doctor’s
office, surgery center with 23-hour stay capability or a
hospital. These things will all vary with the surgeon’s
preferences, training and what the best procedure is for
What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is one type of minimally invasive surgery. It
is commonly referred to as:
- Keyhole surgery
- Band-aid Surgery
- Pinhole Surgery
Laparoscopy involves small incisions and is most commonly
done under general anesthesia at a surgery center or hospital.
Patients typically go home the same day or the following
morning unless the procedure requires more involved or advanced
laparoscopic surgery, possibly in colon surgery, for instance,
and in some urogynecologic procedures.
What are the advantages of laparoscopy and minimally
- Reduced blood loss during and after surgery, therefore,
reducing the chance of a blood transfusion
- Reduced adhesions or scar tissue postoperatively
- Smaller and fewer incisions
- Less pain postoperatively, therefore, less pain medication
- Reduced hospital stay
- Reduced exposure of internal organs (less exposure
to more traumatic instrumentation during surgery and
glove powder) and air that can create dryness and therefore
possibly create adhesions
- Reduced risk of infection
What common surgical procedures are performed
- Gynecological or procedures dealing with diseases and
routine physical care of the reproductive system of women.
- Exploratory Laparoscopy that includes evaluation
of the pelvis and pelvic organs, i.e. ovaries, fallopian
tubes, uterus, bladder and appendix.
- Procedures in Gynecology that can be
done laparoscopically include ovarian
cystectomy, excision of an ovary (oophorectomy, also
called ovariectomy), myomectomy, hysterectomy, lysis
of adhesions, tubal reanastomosis, excision of endometriosis,
oncology procedures and evaluation, pelvic floor reconstruction
and bladder surgery.
- General surgery and gastroenterological or procedures
dealing with the structure, function, diseases and pathology
of the stomach and intestines
- These types of procedures can include gallbladder
excision (cholecystectomy), appendix excision (appendectomy),
spleen excision (splenectomy), hernia repair (herniorrhaphy),
bariatric or procedures dealing with obesity (gastric
bypass), and bowel or colon surgeries.
- Urological or procedures dealing with urinary or urogenital
- Kidney removal (nephrectomy)
- Many additional procedures may be done as well laparoscopically
or endoscopically. There are continual advances almost
daily of additional types of procedures that can be done
through minimally invasive techniques in all areas of
the body. There is a huge trend towards less invasive
procedures that afford patients improved results with