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Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Stomach Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a more minimally invasive approach which involves the use of a lighted viewing tube called a laparoscope, introduced through a small incisions (keyholes) on your abdomen and can provide a well-illuminated and magnified view of the structures within. A miniature camera present inside the tube displays images on a high definition screens which guide your surgeon to perform operations. Special long thin instruments are inserted though other 5mm keyholes to act as the hands of the surgeon.

Laparoscopic surgery is mostly performed to treat gastrointestinal disorders which traditionally required large abdominal incisions. It may be used to perform surgery to the stomach to treat conditions such as:

Perforated peptic ulcers: Laparoscopic surgery can be used to address bleeding or perforated peptic ulcers in the lining mucosa of the stomach. Perforated ulcers are closed using sutures, suturing tissue into the ulcer or removing the ulcer with the adjacent part of the stomach.

Tumours: Laparoscopic gastrectomy may be performed to remove all or part of the stomach containing a tumour.  In confirmed cases of stomach cancer the lymph nodes surrounding the stomach also need to be removed.

GORD: Regurgitation of acidic stomach contents into the lower oesophagus (food pipe) causing heartburn and abdominal pain. Laparoscopic surgery may be used to perform anti-reflux surgery if medications and non-surgical treatments are ineffective.

Achalasia: Achalasia is where the muscle at the lower end of the oesophagus is closed tight limiting the passage of food or fluids. Laparoscopic surgery may be loosen this muscle (oesophagomyotomy or Heller’ procedure) which is often combined with an anti-reflux operation.

Bariatric or weight loss surgery may also be performed laparoscopically. This usually involves reducing the size of the stomach and bypassing a portion of the stomach and intestines.

Most laparoscopic procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis or may require a short stay at the hospital. Other benefits of laparoscopic surgery include decreased operating time and bleeding, reduced postoperative pain and a low risk of some complications.