Laparoscopy or open surgery? Which is best for me?
With growing advances in minimal access surgery as well as an increase in public awareness, one of the common questions patients scheduled for surgery ask me is whether they should go for laparoscopic surgery or open surgery. As their gynecologist, it is my duty to apprise them of the risks and benefits of each modality. But in the end, the choice is entirely theirs.
Although laparoscopy initially developed as a simple procedure for sterilization in females, it has expanded its horizons far beyond its humble beginnings. Laparoscopic surgery can now be performed for almost all the conditions that need open surgery. Whether it’s something innocuous such as abdominal adhesions or something more sinister like reproductive cancers, laparoscopic surgery is up to the task. Laparoscopy can be used for management of the following:
- ectopic pregnancy
- ovarian cysts
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- gynecological cancers
- anatomical reconstruction
Laparoscopic surgery is a safe alternative to open surgery where a long probe with a camera at one end is inserted into the abdominal cavity and subsequently three small incisions are made to insert the medical equipment needed for the procedure. Studies have shown that laparoscopic surgery causes less trauma, less blood loss and faster recovery with reduced hospitalization. However, it is a costlier than traditional surgery and has certain limitations in people with other medical conditions.
- Heart disease,
- Widespread disease,
- Large abdominal masses
are but few of the contraindications for laparoscopic surgery.
A holistic approach is of utmost importance when deciding which modality is best for you. Don’t assume that what worked for your friend or neighbor will work for you. Each individual is unique, your requirements may vary from those of your associates. As specialists, we are always available to brainstorm with you and choose the most appropriate path for you. For all you know, you may not even need the surgery.
Watch this space for more updates on the medical treatment of these disorders.