Laparoscopic or "keyhole" surgery is a fast-developing area: every year, more and more procedures are approved using it. So what is laparoscopy and what does it involve?
Traditionally in order to gain access to body cavities and internal organs surgeons have made large incisions which involves cutting skin and muscles. This causes disturbances to body physiology and often considerable post operative discomfort and pain.
Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery is designed to be less traumatic to the body, therefore allowing a much more rapid recovery. For instance laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder) often only requires a few hours in hospital whereas following traditional open surgery patients often return home several days later.
Operations are undertaken through tiny holes in the abdominal wall through which a camera and instruments are inserted.