Laparoscopic surgery, sometimes called “keyhole” surgery or band-aid surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure using small incisions of around 0.5 to 1.5 cm. A laparoscope, which is a small tube with a camera at the tip, is passed through the incision to the surgical site and relays images from inside the body to a monitor. 

Surgeons are then able to perform procedures with small, thin instruments that are passed through the incision. Laparoscopic surgery often includes operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, such as removal of the appendix, gallbladder, colon, or kidney to name a few.

Casey Johnson, a certified Physician Assistant who works with the eight Premier Surgical Associates physicians at Parkwest Medical Center, says, “As a PA, I want patients to know that it’s amazing how much can be done laparoscopically now and most people don’t realize that. This means surgeries require much smaller incisions and recovery time is much shorter.”

He adds, “Some people fear the procedure so much that they put it off and then their illness becomes a bigger problem, which results in a more complicated surgery with longer recovery time. But with early detection, so much can be treated laparoscopically.”

There are a number of advantages of laparoscopic surgery, for both patients and physicians, versus traditional open surgeries, including:

  • Smaller incisions, which shortens recovery time and results in less scarring.
  • Less pain, leading to less pain medication needed.
  • Shorter hospital stays, often with a same day discharge
  • Shorter overall recovery time to return to normal activities.
  • Reduced risk of hemorrhaging and reduced risk of infections.

Johnson says, “We often hear patients say they didn’t realize the procedure was going to be as easy as it was, and that the recovery was easier than they expected.” He advises all his patients to follow their primary care doctor’s recommendations for early detection screenings, and to not wait if they need a surgical procedure.

Premier Surgical Associates is the largest general and vascular surgical group in the Knoxville region, providing comprehensive surgical care, with referrals from across the entire East Tennessee region. To learn more about our specialties, visit Premier Surgical Associates.