Endoscopic surgery is a technique that enables various surgical procedures to be performed without making large incisions in the skin. An endoscope is a tube-like viewing instrument with a light source. Some endoscopes have a built-in miniature camera that relays pictures to a monitor. Endoscopes are inserted either through a natural body opening, such as the anus, or through a small incision, depending on the site to be accessed. Most endoscopic surgery through incisions is performed under general anaesthesia; endoscopic surgery through natural openings may require only a local anaesthetic.

How Endoscopic surgery is performed

Endoscopic surgery performed through skin incisions is often called minimally invasive or “keyhole” surgery. Tiny instruments, such as forceps, are passed through small incisions in the skin or through side channels in the
endoscope to reach the operating site. These instruments are operated by the surgeon, who is guided by the view through the endoscope or on the monitor.

Since endoscopic surgery may not involve any incisions or only require small ones, the length of stay in hospital and recovery time are shorter than for open surgery. However, there is a slightly greater risk of damage to an organ or blood vessel with endoscopic surgery than with open surgery because the surgeon has to work in a smaller area. As with all surgery, there is a risk of an adverse reaction to a general anaesthetic, which depends on the person’s pre-operative health, the specific anaesthetic used and the type of operation being done. During the operation, the surgeon may need to access a larger area and perform open surgery. You will be asked for your consent to open surgery before an endoscopic operation.

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