Dr. Prakash K, Lead Senior Consultant – Surgical Gastroenterology
Laparoscopy is undoubtedly one of the most efficient surgical techniques for management of gastro intestinal problems. A procedure that involves just 3 or 4 holes for a wide range of conditions management of hernias (inguinal, umbilical and incisional) to complex cases like removal of gall bladder (cholecystectomy) and surgery for colon cancer (colectomy), the advantages of laparoscopy include:
- Smaller scars
- Lesser pain
- Fewer complications like blood loss
- Quicker recovery
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster return to normal life
However, at times, the patient’s expectations about post-surgical recovery and return to normal life are a bit too high. Yes, laparoscopy is definitely better and faster healing than conventional open surgeries. But what one needs to understand and remember is that:
- Laparoscopic procedures, like every other surgical procedure, needs close post-surgical monitoring.
- The surgeon needs to ensure that there are no complications and the patient is healing well, before giving the go-ahead to get back to normal life.
- After a surgical procedure, be it major or minor, the body needs a reasonable amount of time to heal internally. It’s unrealistic to force the body to get back to normal.
- The doctor will, after a detailed assessment, instruct when the patient can have normal food. Remember, getting back to having normal food can take a certain amount of time, especially in cases like Laparoscopic Colectomy or surgery for colon cancer. As the colon and intestine is removed and rejoined, it is only natural that one needs to wait till they rejoin (anastomosis) and heal, before starting to have normal food. The same applies for complex procedures like Laparoscopic Gastrectomy (removal of stomach cancer); Laparoscopic Pancreatic Resections like Whipple’s procedure.
- Similarly, though procedures like Laparoscopic Fundoplication surgery for GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease); Laparoscopic Cardiomyotomy for achalasia (a condition that causes difficulty for the esophagus to move food into the stomach) offer significant advantage over open procedures, the patient needs to follow the prescribed diet mandatorily during the postoperative period.
- Procedures like Laparoscopic Splenectomy (spleen removal); Laparoscopic Pancreatectomy (part or complete removal of the pancreas) are major surgeries. Since laparoscopic procedures eliminate the need for long upper abdominal incision, patients do recover quickly. However, they need to be careful in order to avoid post-surgical complications.
One of the most technologically advanced centres for laparoscopy in the region, Aster Medcity offers “single incision laparoscopy” or “single port laparoscopic surgery” – a state-of-the-art technique wherein instruments are passed through a 2-2.5 cm incision.