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Understanding The Difference Between Traditional And Laparoscopic Surgery

Many surgeries today can be performed with minimal incisions and the aid of a laparoscope. There are benefits to this type of surgery since incisions are smaller and recovery time is shorter. Sometimes, laparoscopic surgery is not the best choice and when that happens, the surgeon proceeds with a traditional incision that opens your body. Here's a look at how laparoscopic and traditional surgery compares when you have your gallbladder removed.

Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal

For this procedure, the surgeon makes a few small incisions in your abdomen. A laparoscope is placed in one of the incisions. A laparoscope is a light and camera that's attached to the end of a small-diameter tube. It lights up your gallbladder so the surgeon can examine it on a screen by watching the video sent by the camera. The examination lets the surgeon know if your gallbladder can be removed with the minimally invasive surgery or if you need a larger incision.

If you can proceed with laparoscopic surgery, instruments are placed in the other incisions that will cut out your gallbladder. The surgeon watches the surgery on the video monitor so he or she can see how to grab the gallbladder and remove it. Both types of surgeries are done under general anesthesia and take up to two hours. The main advantage of the minimally invasive surgery is recovery time.

You may get to go home the same day as your surgery or you might need to stay overnight in the hospital. You should recover from laparoscopic gallbladder surgery in about a week and experience less pain that you would have with traditional surgery.

Traditional Gallbladder Surgery

If you have too much scar tissue or have other problems with your gallbladder, the surgeon may need to open your abdomen with a long incision to access your gallbladder. Once the organ is removed, the incision is stapled or stitched closed. Since the incision is larger, it will be more painful during recovery. Also, the risk of infection is potentially higher with a larger incision. You may need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after traditional surgery to make sure you are healing properly before you go home. It will take several weeks to fully heal from this type of gallbladder surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery is usually the best option unless there is an obstruction or some other reason the surgeon can't perform the operation safely. Gallbladder surgery is one example of an operation that can be done with a laparoscope, but there are other abdominal, back, and joint surgeries that can be done the same way.