Laparoscopic Minimally invasive surgery can be used for the following urologic procedures:
- Partial nephrectomy for cancer (Removal of only part of the kidney or also known as kidney sparing cancer surgery)
- Radical nephrectomy for cancer (Removal of the entire kidney)
- Radical nephroureterectomy for cancer (Removal of the entire kidney and the ureter which connects to the bladder)
- Pyeloplasty for ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ obstruction)
- Ureteral surgery for stones or strictures
- Pelvic lymph node dissection
- Adrenalectomy (Removal of the adrenal gland)
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive alternative to standard open surgery in which a special camera called a laparoscope is used to visualize the abdominal cavity. Also called “keyhole” or “band-aid” surgery, laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure because it requires several small (1/2- to 1-inch) incisions rather than a single large one in the abdomen.
Laparoscopic surgeries have led to less invasive cancer surgeries with decreased pain and faster recovery times for patients. Because of the reduced size of the incisions, hospital stays are often shorter, with some patients even able to go home the next day.
During laparoscopic surgery, several instruments, including a camera called a laparoscope, are inserted into the patient’s abdomen through small incisions. These instruments include scissors, graspers, and other instruments modeled after the typical instruments used in traditional open procedures.
There are certain limitations to laparoscopic surgery because the surgeon does not have direct contact with the patient’s organs. First, the surgeon has limited range of motion due to the instruments being rigid and straight. Unlike the human hand and wrist, the laparoscopic tools can only move in certain directions, limiting the types of actions that can be performed. Second, the surgeon relies upon a two-dimensional screen displaying the patient’s anatomy creating a loss of depth perception and impact on hand-eye coordination. A new alternative to laparoscopic surgery, which is increasing in popularity, is robot-assisted surgery.