Laparoscopic surgery (also known as minimally invasive, or keyhole surgery) is one the major advances in modern surgical techniques. It involves the use of small incisions in the abdomen (usually less than an inch long) through which long thin instruments can reach and treat the internal organs.
A miniature camera, known as a laparoscope, is passed via one of the small incisions and images of the abdominal organs can then be magnified and viewed on a television monitor. This allows the surgeon to carry out many complex procedures, inside the abdomen, without the need for large cuts.
Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages over traditional open surgery. These can include:
- Less post-operative pain and reduced painkiller requirements
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster return to normal activity
- Fewer wound problems, such as infections, bruising and swelling
- Better cosmetic results
Laparoscopic surgeons have to undergo extensive training to acquire the skills needed to perform complex surgical procedures using the technique. Mr Agwunobi has performed over 3,500 laparoscopic procedures, including on patients who have had previous open abdominal surgery with extensive scarring.
Common abdominal procedures
Common abdominal procedures performed using minimally invasive (keyhole) techniques:
- Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery (Nissen fundoplication)
- Laparoscopic hiatus hernia repair
- Gallbladder removal – laparoscopic cholecystectomy
- Hernia repairs – inguinal, epigastric, umbilical and incisional hernia
- Small bowel resection and anastomosis
- Weight loss surgery or bariatric procedures
- Cancer surgery – oesophageal, stomach and colon cancer resections
Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive. New techniques are being developed by surgeons all the time.
You will have the opportunity to discuss the technique best suited to your condition prior to making any decisions.
Please ensure you consult a healthcare professional before making decisions about your health.