If You Have Ever Asked “What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?”, Here's What You Need To Know

What is laparoscopic surgery? This is a question asked by many who are new to the idea of surgical operations being carried out by extremely small instruments, but also by people who are aware of the concept but just not the name. Laparoscopic surgery is more commonly known by the term 'keyhole surgery', which accurately describes what the procedure involves. The whole process is driven by the need to make only a small incision into the skin of the patient, and the resulting benefits that brings in terms of faster recovery and less scarring.

What many people who are acquainted with these techniques do not realize is that they are now over a century old. It was right at the start of the twentieth century that the techniques of laparoscopic surgery were first developed, and in 1902 the first experiment was carried out on animals. In those early days, surgeons were extremely limited in what they could achieve with the procedure, and progress was incredibly slow. It took eight more years before the first operation could be carried out on a human patient.

As well as asking “What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?”, many people also ask what can be treated with it, and the answer is that it can treat an ever growing number of abdominal conditions. When the technology was first developed, it was severely limited by the fact that the surgeon could see very little. Treating anything other than large organs which could be numbed through anesthesia was quite impossible. Colon and bowel disease was really all that could be handled, but now the techniques are available to treat anything up to and including cancer. This is entirely due to the improvement in vision made possible by electronics.

Laparoscopic surgery is still carried out on animals, though for quite different purposes from those of the original experiments a hundred years ago. The instruments used in modern procedures are so small, and the techniques using electronics so accurate, that it is possible to operate on small animals which would be very difficult to operate on in normal circumstances. It is also possible to directly save the eggs of a mother who is dying, by going inside the body.

This will almost certainly be one of the most important procedures as laparoscopic surgery moves into the future. Endangered species such as certain breeds of tortoise can be helped considerably using these techniques. Tortoises typically produce a large number of eggs, because only a small number of young can survive. If those eggs can be hatched, and the young raised in controlled circumstances where threats from predators are removed, there is a serious possibility of saving the species. You will almost certainly have never realized the importance of this technology, if you have ever needed to ask “What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?”


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