What is Keyhole Surgery? A Guide to Laparoscopic Surgery

what is keyhole surgery laparoscopic surgeon

Surgery is taxing on the body. However, sometimes it's the only solution for correcting a medical condition. Throughout the years, most surgeries were open, which created more complications for patients.

Luckily, keyhole surgery has become more common, and it's the preferred method for operations that are performed on a specific part of the body.

If you've heard the term keyhole surgery and didn't understand what it meant, keep reading the information below to learn more about it.

What Is Keyhole Surgery?

Keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that allows operation without making a large incision. Therefore, there's no need to have open surgery. It's also referred to as laparoscopic surgery.

This type of procedure is typically used on the abdomen, but a variety of operations can be performed using keyhole surgery. It's also used for areas of the body like the chest and joints.

A laparoscopy procedure is primarily used to diagnose the following conditions:

Gynecology: It helps to diagnose and treat female reproductive system disorders

Gastroenterology: To diagnose and treat you really should you know conditions for the digestive system 

Urology: It helps to diagnose and treat urinary system conditions

In addition to these conditions, keyhole surgery can also be used for the following procedures:

  • Removing portions of the intestine
  • Removing the gallbladder
  • Removing the appendix
  • Treating hernias
  • Removing fibroids
  • Treating ectopic pregnancy

Before a Keyhole Procedure

Prior to keyhole surgery, patients are required to fast. That means they shouldn't have food or drinks for at least 6 to 12 hours before surgery.

The fast also includes no smoking and chewing gum. The surgeon will provide in-depth details of how to properly proceed before the operation

Keyhole Surgery: During the Procedure

During laparoscopy surgery, a thin rod that's equipped with a telescopic lens, a camera, and a light is put through the tiny incision. The camera gives the surgeon a full, up-close view of the inside of the body.

The rod, which is referred to as an endoscope, also the doctor to operate. This procedure is used to diagnose medical conditions and perform a number of different surgical procedures like removing damaged organs.

A keyhole operation has many advantages over conventional open surgery. It helps to minimize pain levels, hemorrhaging, and scarring. Furthermore, the procedure is relatively safe.

After the Procedure

After the surgery is over, it's common to feel a bit disoriented as you recover from the anesthetic. Although the procedure only requires a small incision, you'll still have to make sure you keep your wounds clean and come back to the doctor for a follow-up appointment.

Also for a few days following the procedure, you may experience some pain or discomfort where the incision was made. However, the doctor should be prescribed painkillers to help ease the aching.

Furthermore, some of the gas that is used to inflate your stomach might remain in your abdomen after the surgery. If so, it could cause cramps, bloating, and shoulder pain. The side effects are harmless and should subside within a few days.

This method of operating minimizes the length of time an individual needs to stay in the hospital and it leaves little scarring left behind.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Keyhole Surgery

There are several benefits to keyhole surgery versus a traditional open operation. Here are a few of them:

Minimal Physical Impact

Operating through a small cut as opposed to a large incision minimizes the amount of blood loss that a patient has. In addition to that, there's also a reduction in the pain and discomfort that a patient feels after surgery.

Not to mention, the small size of the surgical tools used during the operation have a lower chance of damaging tissues. Plus, the outside scars on the body are smaller and easier to treat compared to open surgery wounds.

Lower Risk of Complications

After a keyhole operation, the risk of getting an infection, hernia, or other issues occurring is minimal. Some of the horror stories associated with open surgery are surgical tools accidentally being left behind in a patient's body.

The great thing about a keyhole operation is that it drastically reduces the chances of such incidents.

Minimized Recovery Time

Recovery time after keyhole surgery is significantly less than that of open surgery. The advantage is that it reduces the potential of bone loss and muscle atrophy, which comes as a result of long periods of bed rest.

When a person's wounds are larger, then it inevitably takes longer to heal and causes more downtime.

The Disadvantages

As with any operation, there are drawbacks, and that includes keyhole surgery. The main disadvantage is that it takes longer to perform than open surgery. The incision is much smaller so surgeons have minimal space to work in.

Also, a longer operation means that it requires patients to be under anesthesia for longer.

In addition to those disadvantages, there are minor and major complications that could occur as a result of keyhole surgery. Below are the potential minor complications:

  • A hernia
  • Bruising around the incision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trapped air underneath the skin

Potential Major Complications

  • Damaged Nerves
  • Damaged blood vessel
  • An injured urinary tract
  • Injured organs 
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Development of cancerous lesions
  • A collapsed lung

To learn more about laparoscopic surgery, read on here.

Keyhole Surgery Results

It’s never easy going under the knife for a major operation. Thankfully, keyhole surgery offers an alternative that’s less invasive.

If this article on laparoscopic surgery was helpful, feel free to browse more of our blog. We cover a variety of related medical topics in our Healthcare and Frugal Fitness sections.