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 What are the Advantages to Laparoscopic Colon Surgery?

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic procedures provide many advantages to the patient, surgeon, hospital and even your employer over conventional open surgery. Almost all people are candidates for laparoscopic colon surgery or minimally invasive surgery in general. In 2005 there are very few indications to have a procedure preformed using open technology and anyone that is advised by their physician that laparoscopic surgery cannot be done should seek a second opinion. Obtain a thorough medical evaluation by a surgeon qualified in laparoscopic colon resection in consultation with your primary care physician to find out if the technique is appropriate for you.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery For The Patient

  • much less discomfort after the surgery since the incisions are much smaller
  • quicker recovery times
  • quicker resumption of diet
  • shorter hospital stays
  • earlier return to full activities
  • much smaller scars
  • less internal scarring compared to standard open surgery
  • reduced post-operative pain, this enables you to breath and cough better and the use of strong pain medications is drastically reduced so the drowsiness, fatigue and unsteadiness they cause is minimized
  • faster improved appearance
  • minimizing the trauma of access to internal organs
  • clinical trials show that immune function is better preserved with laparoscopic surgery. A recent study of patients undergoing either laparoscopic or the traditional lengthy incision "open" surgical approach indicates that open surgery depletes the blood plasma of a protein that inhibits the growth of tumor cells. The beneficial protein in question is preserved in laparoscopic patients
  • following surgery, the intestines become paralyzed, referred to as postoperative ileus. This is caused by many factors, including intra operative intestinal manipulation, pain, and narcotic usage. It is thought that all these factors are reduced in laparoscopic surgery, and that this accounts for the earlier resolution of ileus following minimally invasive surgery

Patients who qualify and go through with laparoscopic surgery generally experience the above benefits. In fact, many patients report an improvement in their mood and overall outlook following the surgery.

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Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery For The Surgeon and Hospital

  • Video magnification also offers surgeons better exposure of the diseased organ and its surrounding vessels and nerves. As a result, delicate maneuvers can be performed to protect these structures during the surgery.
  • reduced rate of complication (especially in the elderly) - the reasons for this may be related to quicker return of pulmonary function, less operative blood loss, and increased ambulation following minimally invasive surgery.
  • less elderly patients require admission to an assisted living facility and can resume an independent lifestyle after undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery then with open surgery.

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Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery For The Patients Employer

  • patients who underwent laparoscopic colectomy generally returned to their usual activity, two weeks after surgery, whereas patients who underwent open colectomy reported returning to their usual activity seven weeks after surgery.

Are there any Disadvantages?

  • The major disadvantage of laparoscopic colectomy is increased operative time. Generally the surgeon will require a 30 to 75 minute increase in surgical time using the minimally invasive approach. The surgeon’s experience is important, and there is a significant learning curve for laparoscopic colectomy. Operative time decreases significantly the greater the number of procedures performed by the operating surgeon.
  • The other major issue is the need for surgeons to take special training in performing the many operations that are available by this means.
  • expensive equipment involved in performing the surgery. Not all hospital operating rooms can afford to offer it because of cost containment.
  • The need for additional training is because laparoscopic surgeons leave the familiar territory of a three-dimensional operating field to working on a two-dimensional flat video display. The shift is a critical one, and requires some degree of practice moving around long laparoscopic instruments while handling delicate tissues.


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This information is not intended to take the place of your discussion with your surgeon about your need for colon surgery. If you have questions about your need for a colon operation, your alternatives, the cost of the procedure, billing or insurance, or your surgeon's training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow-up, please discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation. Terms of Use