Laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery is a highly specialised method of performing surgery. Initially used for only gynaecologic and gall bladder surgery, now it has been extended to include intestinal surgery as well. Unlike traditional surgeries, where a single large incision is done, laparoscopic surgery can involve creating multiple small incisions called “port” that are of 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter.
A tubular instrument called trochar is inserted into each port. Once trochars are inserted, certain specialized instruments such as a special camera known as the laparoscope are passed through them into the surgical area. Before beginning the procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide in order to provide a sufficiently large working space. The laparoscope can relay the images of the surgical area to the high-resolution video monitors in the operation theatre. The surgeon can use these detailed images to perform the same operation that a traditional surgery involves.
There are certain special cases where the surgeon can cut a special type of port that is large enough for his or her hand to enter. This then becomes known as Hand Assisted Laparoscopy. The hand port is still smaller than the incisions used in traditional surgery.