By Eren Cooper
The Surgi Centre
Single-port laparoscopy is a form of laparoscopic surgery that is performed through a single port (or incision) unlike traditional multi-port laparoscopic surgery that uses four to five incisions. A camera and surgical instruments are then inserted through the left side of the abdomen or the navel cavity. Through this incision, the surgeons are able to see the surgery, as it's being performed, via a T.V. monitor in the exam room. This type of surgery requires considerable skill, training and experience as it is a highly technical procedure.
Just to name a few, SILS (Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery) has been used to perform appendectomies, cholecystectomies, gastric banding, hysterectomies and hernia repair. The technique has almost entirely replaced the need for open surgery in the pelvic or abdomen region because there are so many advantages for the patient.
For one thing, a single incision reduces the amount of bleeding involved. Also, reducing the amount of ports used reduces the risk of bowel injuries, infections and vascular injuries. SILS has also proven to reduce pain after surgery and shorten recovery time. In fact, in almost all cases, the patient can return home the same day. One of the biggest advantages for some patients is cosmetic because one scar, often hidden inside the navel, is preferable to several scars about the abdomen. Disadvantages of SILS are few, the most prevalent being that there's less freedom of movement when all instruments must use the same port.
The restricted vision, the difficulty in handling of the instruments, the lack of tactile perception and the limited working area are factors which add to the technical complexity of this surgical approach (cited).
However, ever-increasing technology and flexible instruments help to overcome the limitations of a smaller work area.
The two main categories of equipment used in SILS are access ports and hand instruments and there are numerous types and brands of each; including the GelPOINT system, a type of access port, and hand instruments used include trocars, probes and scalpels.
SILS is a rapidly evolving technique but it has continued to prove its advantages over time as a safe and cosmetically appealing alternative to conventional laparoscopy and open surgery.
Article Sources: Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (www.singleincisionlaparoscopicsurgery.in); Single-incision total laparoscopic hysterectomy (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov); Single-port Surgery (my.cleveland-clinic.org); Single Port Laparoscopy (video) www.youtube.com .