Traditional surgical treatment for many intestinal disorders requires a long abdominal
incision and a lengthy recovery period. The surgeons at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
are now using laparoscopic techniques to perform intestinal surgery for many patients.
Anyone with a condition that requires removal of a large part of the intestine,
including diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, some colorectal cancers, and rectal prolapse
may be a candidate for laparoscopic intestinal surgery.
Laparoscopic intestinal surgery uses a thin telescope-like instrument called a
laparoscope, which is inserted through a small incision at the belly button.
The laparoscope is connected to a tiny video camera that projects a view of the
operative site through video monitors in the Operating Room. The abdomen is inflated
with carbon dioxide gas to allow the surgeon a better view of the operative area.
Two or three additional small incisions are made near the laparoscope through which
the surgeon inserts specialized instruments to perform the operation. To remove the diseased portion of the intestine, one of
the small incisions must be enlarged to three to five inches in length, which is
still one-third the size of the incision used in a conventional surgery. Following
the procedure, the small incisions are closed with sutures and covered with surgical
The surgery will leave three or four tiny scars instead of one large abdominal scar.
It will also involve a shorter hospital stay, shorter recovery time, reduced postoperative
pain, and a quicker return to daily activities.