A laparoscopic procedure done in one of the hospital's new operation rooms
Most procedures can be performed laparoscopically through several tiny incisions (5-10 mm) around the navel, eliminating the need to open the abdominal cavity using a long incision across the entire abdomen. After the incisions are done, the abdomen swelled by filling it with CO2 (after the procedure is complete, the gas is pumped out). Following this, the surgeon inserts into the abdomen an optic fiber with a camera connected to a screen. This allows the surgeon to see everything that is done inside the abdomen. Other tubes called trocars are inserted as well, and through them the special instruments used to perform the surgery.
The laparoscopic approach has several distinct advantages:
• Reduction in post-operative pain. Post-operative pain usually stems from the long abdominal incision. Since the laparoscopic approach requires only several very small incisions, the pain is substantially reduced, and with it the need for pain killers.
• A shorter period of intestinal paralysis. After a regular abdominal surgery, the bowels usually experience a paralysis that lasts between four and six days. After laparoscopic procedures this period is reduced to only 24-48 hours. Since the patient can resume eating and drinking orally only after the paralysis passes, patients after laparoscopic surgeries usually resume doing this sooner than patients who underwent the regular procedure.
• Improved lung functions. Due to the post-operative pain, many patients avoid taking deep breaths and can't remove the mucus that accumulates during the anesthesia and operation. This mucus can cause a collapsed lung or pneumonia. After a laparoscopic procedure, which is less painful, the patients' lung functions are better and they suffer less from pulmonary complications.
• Reduced hospitalization and a quicker return to full function. The hospitalization required after a laparoscopic procedure is significantly shorter, and the recovery and return to regular daily function is faster. This is seen in both young and older patients.
• Cosmetic advantage. This might not be the most important advantage, but particularly in the younger population - where inflammatory bowel disease are more common - body image is important and should be preserved as best possible. Therefore the possibility to perform the procedure without leaving long ugly scars is a definite plus.
• Reduction in abdominal adhesions. After every invasive abdominal procedure there is a risk of developing adhesions – inflamed tissue that grows in the abdominal cavity and might cause bowel obstruction, technical difficulties in repeated abdominal surgeries, and infertility in women. Laparoscopic surgeries were proven to cause significantly less adhesions, probably due to the delicate apparatuses and lack of contact with other organs adjacent to the organ operated upon.
• Improvement in the patient's immune system and metabolic state. Every abdominal surgery causes trauma to the patient's body, with proven damage to the function of the immune system. In addition, the body enters a state of stress and starts breaking down its own proteins for energy. Studies done in recent years proved that the physical trauma following a laparoscopic surgery is significantly lower, and the immune system's function suffers less damage in comparison to regular surgeries.