Surgeons use laparoscopy to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.
During a laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions in the abdomen. Through these incisions, the surgeon inserts a scope (a small, thin tube fitted with a camera) and any needed surgical tools.
Benefits of laparoscopy
Laparoscopy involves smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. For that reason, it can offer the following benefits:
- Less pain
- Reduced scarring
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stay
Types of laparoscopy
- Diagnostic laparoscopy: Surgeons may use this procedure to diagnose the cause of abdominal problems or the stage of cancers when x-rays and other imaging tests have not produced clear results.
- Laparoscopic surgery: Surgeons use laparoscopic techniques to treat a wide variety of conditions (see below). During laparoscopic surgery, a surgeon usually inserts a scope through one small incision and surgical tools through other small incisions.
- Robotic laparoscopic surgery: During a robotic laparoscopic procedure, the surgical tools are attached to a robotic arm and the surgeon controls them from a computer.
- Single-incision laparoscopic surgery: Some laparoscopic surgical procedures can now be performed through only a single small incision, through which the surgeon inserts both the scope and surgical tools.
Why might I need a laparoscopic procedure?
Doctors at Rush can use laparoscopic procedures in the following cases, among others:
- Gallbladder disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastrointestinal cancers
- Genitourinary cancers
- Gynecologic cancers
- Hiatal hernia
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Inguinal hernia
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure (cirrhosis)
- Obesity (bariatric surgery)
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Umbilical hernia
Alternatives to laparoscopy
While laparoscopy can offer many benefits, it is not always the best choice. In some cases, traditional open surgery may be the better or only option.
Surgeons at Rush have the expertise to help guide your choice.
Why choose Rush for laparoscopy
- Abdominal surgeons at Rush helped pioneer laparoscopy for the treatment of gallbladder disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), colorectal cancer and other conditions. They were among the first in Chicago to use several laparoscopic techniques that are now standard.
- The Rush University Cancer Center has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Rush has received this award, which is given every three years, each time it has been evaluated by the Commission on Cancer.
- Transplant surgeons at Rush were the first in Illinois to perform performed single-incision laparoscopic surgery to remove a kidney from a living donor. This approach, which requires a single small incision at the navel, can lead to less pain after surgery and leaves virtually no visible scar.
- Gynecologic surgeons at Rush are conducting a study of patient satisfaction with the cosmetic appearance of scars after minimally invasive surgery. Preliminary data suggest a high level of satisfaction.