Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally-invasive surgery (MIS) is a modern surgical technique in which operations within the abdomen and pelvis are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5-1.5cm) as compared to larger incisions needed in traditional open surgical procedures.
There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include reduced blood loss, reduced pain, and shorter recovery time. The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope. Also used is a fiber optic cable system connected to a light source (halogen or xenon) to illuminate the operative field. The abdomen and or pelvis is usually insufflated with carbon dioxide gas to create a working and viewing space. The abdomen is essentially blown up like a balloon (insufflated), elevating the abdominal wall above the internal organs like a dome. The gas used is CO2, which is common to the human body and can be absorbed by tissue and removed by the respiratory system. It is also non-flammable, which is important because electrosurgical devices are commonly used in laparoscopic procedures.
There are a variety of Urologic procedures that can be performed through the use of laparoscopic techniques. Indeed, in many operations laparoscopy has become the standard of care when treating Urologic disease.