technology has entered the operating room in the form of laparoscopic
surgery, a technique used to treat many abdominal conditions.
The laparoscope, a tiny telescope attached to a miniature video
camera, is passed through a port (a long, hollow cylinder) that
is inserted into the patientís abdomen. The laparoscope gives
the surgeon a magnified view of the abdominal cavity, which is
projected on video monitors placed around the operating table.
Once the surgery is complete, all incisions are closed with sutures,
staples or surgical tape. Laparoscopic surgery is becoming the
surgical method of choice for these conditions because minimally
invasive surgery almost always results in less post-operative
pain, a more rapid recovery, lower wound infection rates and faster
resumption of normal activities.
advent of laparoscopic surgery has brought radical changes in
the extent of colon resection surgery, a procedure performed on
colon cancer patients. All medical authorities agree that early
detection and surgical intervention, combined with
chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy if necessary, yield a vastly
improved outlook for the full recovery from colon cancer.
The colon resection or colectomy surgery removes the tumor along
with some adjacent healthy tissue and nearby lymph nodes, after
which the remaining ends of the intestine are rejoined. Laparoscopic
Colon Resection (LACR) requires fewer and smaller incisions than
traditional open surgery. As a result, patients stay an average
of three to five days in the hospital, compared to five to seven
days with the open approach. They also experience less postoperative
pain, a faster return to normal bowel function, more rapid resumption
of diet and less scar tissue.
Preliminary results (with average follow-up of 39 months) from
a randomized trial done in Barcelona, Spain have demonstrated
that among Stage III colon cancer patients those who had laparoscopic
surgery had significantly higher survival rates compared to those
who underwent open surgery. The laparoscopic group also experienced
a lower rate of tumor recurrence.
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