Over the past twenty years, laparoscopic surgery has gained widespread currency in urology. Urological laparoscopy is a kind of operation, which is performed on renal organ ducts without making large incisions in skin or muscles. This branch of medicine is called laparoscopic urology and it seems to be gradually supplanting various types of open surgery, which have been in practice for centuries.
A few decades ago, kidney and/or urethra removal surgeries required a 30-cm incision. Not infrequently, such operations involved blood transfusion and a two-week-or-so hospital stay for rehabilitation. Following dismissal, patients’ condition remained serious for about the same period of time. Incisions would leave big scars.
Laparoscopy was introduced in the 1970s to diagnose urological conditions, such as abdominal cryptorchidism, hydronephrosis, kidney cancer, unilocular cysts, multicystic kidney disease. Initially, doctors used cytoscopes – a kind of endoscope featuring an optical system inside a metal box. In the late 1980s, new laparoscopic procedures, such as pelvic lymphadenectomy and tying off varicoceles, were introduced. In the early 1990s, new nephrectomy, ureterolithotomy, cyst excision, cystectomy, etc. methods were developed. Today, there are hardly types of urological surgeries out there not performed through laparoscopy.
Laparoscopic surgery lies in accessing the affected organ through three to four punctures, through which special kinds of instruments and a miniature video camera are inserted into the body, under general anesthesia. The surgeon cuts through the abdomen and introduces instruments into the retroperitoneal space, where kidneys, renal ducts and related vessels are located. The image is displayed on a TV screen. Laparoscopic instruments measure 5-10 mm in diameter. These operations are technically challenging and require exceptional skills. However, they are definitely more effective than laparotomic operations. Optical augmentation provides a more detailed view of internal organs and enables doctors to perform high-precision manipulations with less damage to tissues and minor blood loss. Post-operation rehabilitation requires only a few-hour intensive care without much painkilling. Post-laparoscopic patients regain the ability to walk and eat much earlier than post-laparotomic patients. Last, but not least, scars are barely visible after healing.
Laparoscopic surgery gains widespread currency in treating a variety of urological diseases. The main types of surgery include:
Today, the advantages of laparoscopic treatment of urological diseases over traditional open surgery are undoubted. Minimal damage, quick rehabilitation, short hospital stays and quick return to normal life are the most significant benefits of such operations, to name a few. Although we are dealing with an intensive patient flow, it is our credo that we exercise an individual approach to each patient and maintain contact with doctors sending them to us.