One of the greatest medical inventions of the last several decades is laparoscopic surgery. By using small cameras and delicate instruments, many surgical procedures can be performed with very small incisions. Because of the minimally invasive nature of the surgery, recovery is much quicker and with fewer complications. For many procedures, surgeons prefer to operate lapascopically instead of through a large cut in the abdomen.
One of the most common surgeries performed with a laparoscope is the a laparoscopic appendectomy, or the removal of the appendix using a scope and small cuts in the abdomen. This surgery is required when the appendix becomes inflamed. Inflammation can occur for a number of different reasons, the most common is a small infection from an impacted bit of stool or other material that gets stuck in the appendix.
The appendix is a small organ located at the beginning of the colon. It is called a ‘vestigial’ structure because it does not serve a significant purpose for the modern human being. It may have been required for digestion in the past, but currently it is not required for any known reason. Therefore, the appendix can be removed without any lasting problems.
A laparoscopic appendectomy is frequently required for cases of appendicitis. Appendicitis occurs frequently in young people and these people get the most benefit from the procedure. Because laparoscopic recovery is much faster than regular surgery, people can go back to their lives quicker and reduce chances of complications. Additionally, the small incisions for the scope and instruments heal with almost no scars. For most patients, it is impossible to tell that a surgery was performed.
Laparoscopic procedures require several small ports that are inserted into the abdomen to introduce the camera and the instruments. The first port is normally placed through a small incision in the umbilicus (belly button). Once placed, the belly is inflated with sterile carbon dioxide gas. The excess gas allows the surgeon to look around the abdomen and find the appendix. Once the appendix is isolated, it can then be cut from the colon using staples and other small suturing devices.
Once the appendix is out, the area is then cleaned out to remove the last traces of infection and inflammation. The camera and the instruments are removed, followed by the ports. The carbon dioxide gas is then released from the abdomen and the small incisions are sutured together to close the belly with only small scars. Within several minutes, the patient can be woken up and in some cases they can be sent home the same day. Because of the small scars and minimal risks, laparoscopic surgery is the best way to operate in modern times.