Surgery has certainly come a very long way in a few hundred years! Even in the last fifty years, we have witnessed great leaps and bounds in the realm of surgical technique, and it is now possible to not only save extremities such as fingers and toes by performing difficult microsurgeries, but it is also possible to radically reduce the length of hospital stays due to advancements in surgical techniques like Laparoscopic surgery.
The Benefits of Laparoscopic Surgery
As surgical instruments have improved and surgical techniques have improved alongside them, laparoscopic surgery is now a viable option for many patients. Unlike a typical surgery where large sections of flesh are cut open to access internal organs and recovery time is quite extensive, laparoscopic surgery involves only very small keyhole incisions, about 5-10mm in size in most cases. Into these small incisions, surgical instruments are inserted and the surgery is performed. It is common for surgeries like gall bladder removal and hernia repair to be performed this way in situations where the patient is deemed eligible.
The benefits of laparoscopic surgery include:
- Small scars: The scar tissue from large incisions can take a long time to heal, and will typically leave noticeable scars. In some cases, these scars can become infected and require further medical treatment. In many cases, these kinds of large scars are also unsightly, and may cause some degree of embarrassment or self-consciousness in people. By contrast, the scars from laparoscopic surgery are very small.
- Reduced blood loss: As one can imagine, the potential blood loss from a large incision can be quite significant. In some cases, the blood loss may be so severe that a transfusion is required during or after surgery. The much smaller incisions made during laparoscopic surgery dramatically reduce blood loss. This increases the safety factor of this type of surgery.
- Lower risk of infection: Unfortunately, many hospitals have to deal with so-called superbugs like MRSA and Staph infecting patients during surgery. Even more worrying is the fact that these types of infections are on the rise, despite rooms and surgical theatres being regularly disinfected with hospital-grade chemicals. The risk of being infected by one of these superbugs increases with large surgical incisions. By contrast, laparoscopic surgery reduces the risk of infection significantly.
- Less pain and shorter recovery: Many patients report that the pain of recovering from surgery is difficult to deal with. Certainty, when it was common for large incisions to be made for all surgical procedures, the recovery period in the hospital alone could take weeks. Even a fairly routine surgery, such as a gall bladder removal or hernia repair could require at least a one week hospital stay post-surgery! Fortunately, laparoscopic surgery cuts down the period of painful recovery significantly. In fact, many patients who have undergone routine laparoscopic operations have been able to go home either the same day or after only one night in the hospital.
If you are about to go for surgery in a hospital, why not ask a surgeon to perform laparoscopic surgery? If you are deemed suitable for such a surgery, there are a wide range of benefits to having it done, including less blood loss, decreased recovery time and pain, lower chances of infection, and much smaller scars.