Laparoscopic surgery is probably the most important development of General Surgery of the 20th century. It was mostly developed in the 1990s with the use of fiber optics and video technology. Procedures are performed through small incisions of 1 cm in diameter assisted by a special camera (laparoscope) and specifically designed instrumentation. The first laparoscopic procedure was laparoscopic cholecystectomy (1987). It was followed by a revolution in the area of minimally invasive surgery, with its wide application in bariatric surgery (obesity weight loss surgery), surgical repair of hernias, in upper and lower digestive tract, in gynecological surgical procedures, and, currently, throughout the entire surgical spectrum. The technological advances and the evolution of surgical techniques resulted, nowadays, in the development of minimum incision techniques and laparoscopic surgery where the entire procedure takes place through a single incision of 1-1.5 cm.
Indisputable advantages of laparoscopic surgery:
- Smaller surgical wound, less postoperative pain and lower postoperative complication rates (suppuration, dehiscence, hematomas, chronic pain);
- Less intraoperative loss of blood;
- Faster mobilization, intestine function and patient rehabilitation;
- Shorter hospital stay, lower hospitalization cost;
- Better esthetic results;
- Better quality of life in the first 6 months following surgery;
- Better surgical field; Image magnification by 10-15 times;
- Less respiratory and cardiovascular complications;
- No contact with the patient’s blood, surgical team protection against transmission of viral infections such as hepatitis or AIDS;
- Less adhesion points in potential correction surgery;
- Indications that patients may start chemotherapy earlier.
Laparoscopic surgery should be applied by well equipped specialized centers by suitably trained, experienced and certified surgeons in order to improve the patients’ health and quality of life.