Word ‘Laparoscopy’ is derived from the ancient Greek language “lapara + skopeo”. Lapara means 'flank, side’ and skopeo means ‘to see'. Hence laparoscopy’s literal meaning is “a procedure/ operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis through which the abdominal contents are seen.

Seeing inside tummy (Laparoscopy)

”To look inside tummy (abdomen) an instrument is used which is called a ‘laparoscope’. A laparoscope is a thin telescope with an attachment for light. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside the abdomen. A laparoscope is passed into the abdomen through a small cut (incision) in the skin. 

Laparoscopic Surgery 

In addition to simply looking inside the abdomen (laparoscopy), surgery can be performed while seeing the abdominal organs with a laparoscope. In this combination, the procedure is called as ‘Laparoscopic Surgery’. Generally, 0.5-1 cm incisions are used in laparoscopic surgery. Each incision is called a“port.”  At each port, a tubular instrument is inserted known as a trocar. 

At the beginning of the procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a working and viewing space for the surgeon. The laparoscope has an attachment with a camera and light which transmits images from the abdominal cavity to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room. During the operation, detailed images of the abdominal organs are displayed on the monitor and surgery is performed using special laparoscopic instruments which are, also, passed into the abdomen through another trocar. This system allows the surgeon to perform the same operations as traditional surgery but with smaller incisions.

Laparoscopic surgery, in other words, is a different way of performing surgery in which the surgical steps remain the same as open surgery, but it is performed with special instruments with small abdominal incisions. Now, these days laparoscopic surgeries are performed with the use of sophisticated medical grade cameras, telescopes, laparoscopic surgical instruments and refined energy sources. 

“Laparoscopic Surgery” is known by various names:

  • Keyhole surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery(MIS)
  • Minimal Access Surgery (MAS) 
  • Band-Aid surgery
  • Scarless Surgery

In certain situations, a surgeon may choose to use a special type of port that is large enough to insert a hand. When a hand port is used, the surgical technique is called “hand-assisted” laparoscopy. The incision required for the hand port is larger than the other laparoscopic incisions but is usually smaller than the incision required for traditional surgery.