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Robert Sewell, MD, FACS

Minimally Invasive Surgeon - Southlake, Texas

Advantages of Laparoscopy

Laparoscopic techniques quickly became preferred by patients because they offered less pain, quicker recovery and smaller scars than conventional operative techniques. Instead of two or three days recuperating in hospital, gallbladder patients typically are able to leave the hospital the same day, and return to normal activity within a week or two. Once patients discovered the advantages of this minimally invasive approach, they began to seek out surgeons who were proficient in these techniques to perform procedures such as appendectomy, hernia repair, and colon resection. Eventually, laparoscopic procedures were developed for nearly every general surgical procedure. Today, these techniques are commonplace, but as with any highly technical procedure, experience is invaluable.

What is Laparoscopic Surgery

In 1988 a new innovative technique was introduced for the performance of gallbladder surgery by pioneering general surgeon, J. Barry McKernan, in Marietta, Georgia. He removed the gallbladder of a woman without making a large incision through the muscles of the abdominal wall. While the technique was not really new, it had been used by gynecologists to perform relatively minor operations in the pelvis, it had not been part of the general surgeon's training or experience. Within three years virtually every practicing general surgeon began incorporating laparoscopic surgery into their practices. The gallbladder was the first organ to be removed using this technique, but it was only the beginning of what became known as the "laparoscopy revolution".