How have Laproscopic Processes Changed the Face of Surgery

Our advancing technology has reached our surgeon’s hands and we are all benefiting from it. There’s no stopping us now.

The surgical experience today is often different than years ago. Depending on the type of surgery. The operative experience for most patients used to mean not only that there would be a long recovery process, with prolonged wound healing, and risk of infection. There was also the ever present scar to use in show and tell; if you chose to share your experience. Then there was the post operative pain. We won’t even talk about that.

With any interruption in skin integrity or an intrusive procedure such as surgery. It is essential to avoid the over-simplification of a procedure. Surgeons have skills beyond that of the latest technology that they are using. As always decisions related to your care are based on the individual needs of each patient..

The competence of the physician, the surgeon, the anesthesiologist as well as the staff administering care post operative is critical. The Institution or hospital must have met through credentialing, confirmation of high standards of care.

The advancement of laparoscopic surgery began slowly as surgeons tread softly in a field that promised much and required that they learn new skills. And master new challenges. is often referred to as minimally invasive surgery, using high tech tools such as video camera, and small finely tuned surgical instruments. For abdominal surgery, multiple small abdominal incisions are made about 1/2 inch in size. Then plastic tubes called ports are placed through the incisional areas. The camera and the surgical instruments are then introduced through the ports allowing access into the patients abdomen. The camera then is in a position to visualize the patients organs and project the picture onto a television monitor. The camera becomes the surgeon’s eyes as he performs surgery.

The patient who is under going complex abdominal surgery may not be a candidate for laparoscopic surgery, as there are limits to the flexibility of instruments used by the surgeon’s hands in this procedure.

However, for some cases there are new advances in laparoscopic procedures that now allow the use of hand access devices. Allowing the surgeon to place his hand in the abdomen during a laparoscopic surgical procedure..

With the high technology that is now available for a patient who needs surgery . How has this impacted the patient ‘s operative experience? Less pain is one of the benefits high on the list of patient priorities. With decreased time for recovery and hospitalization. A patient can now expect an earlier return to full activities with much smaller visible scars and less internal scaring.

The newest and most advanced laparscopic procedure is available with robotic assistance to the surgeon. This is now available through the Da Vinci {tm} allowing greater visualization, less invasive, and using greater precision . The surgeon is remote from the patient away from the operating room table. Using a computer console with a three-dimensional view of the operative field. And with high magnification and depth perception. The surgeon then controls the highly specialized robotic arms to operate on the patient. There are only a few surgeons who have the skills to use the Da Vinci and only in a few locations.

Physicians continue to debate on patient outcomes when it comes to patients who have malignancies. Whether minimal incision surgery is as effective as open abdominal surgery. A team of surgeons conducted a trial with sixty six surgeons who were part of the study. Rates of cancer return were the same regardless of the type of surgery. The survival rates and the rate of complications were almost identical. This study was done over an eight year period.

As our advanced technology enters into our health care system so too will be the benefits for all of us in the USA. However, one question remains . Can we afford this luxury ?