It’s an exciting time to be a women’s health specialist. Surgical techniques are rapidly evolving, offering women safer and less invasive options for treatments that traditionally would require open surgery.
One of these minimally invasive options is laparoscopic surgery. In this current era of innovation, it has become the standard technique for many surgical procedures.
However, a new and even less invasive approach is now allowing our surgeons at Northside Gynaecology to treat a wide range of gynaecological issues with better outcomes than ever before.
Single cut laparoscopy is a new approach that offers a variety of benefits which we’ll discuss in this article.
What is laparoscopic surgery?
In the past, large incisions were often required to perform almost any surgery. This meant more trauma to the body and longer recovery times for patients. But the development of laparoscopic surgery changed this for a wide range of surgeries, including many gynaecological treatments.
A laparoscopy (also known as ‘keyhole surgery’) is a procedure that allows a surgeon to look inside the abdominal or pelvic area without having to open up the cavity. During the procedure, a tiny camera called a laparoscope is inserted through a small cut near the belly button. The laparoscope’s camera transmits images to a video screen, allowing surgeons to diagnose problems and create a treatment plan.
Then additional small cuts are made, through which specialised instruments are inserted. These instruments are used to perform procedures internally. When the procedure is finished, the instruments are removed and the incisions closed up.
How is single cut laparoscopy different?
Thanks to advancements in surgical instruments, surgeons who specialise in single cut laparoscopy can now perform surgery through one single incision. Instead of cutting the patient multiple times to allow the insertion of necessary surgical tools, only one 10-15mm long incision is made near the belly button.
A specialised port device is used to keep the instruments separate and further reduce trauma to the incision site. The port allows incredible manoeuvrability and optimal access to the target tissue. Incredibly, surgeries such as hysterectomies and the removal of ovarian cysts – once requiring large open cuts and long recovery times – can now be performed through one tiny cut.
This exciting new advancement reduces trauma to the body significantly, promoting even faster healing times and reducing the risk of infection more than ever.
Instead of being in heavy pain and bedridden for 6 weeks or more, single cut laparoscopy patients often walk out of hospital the next day, have minimal pain, and are back to work within 2 weeks.
What are the advantages of single cut laparoscopy?
In comparison with traditional laparoscopy, single cut laparoscopy’s most significant advantage is the single incision. Thanks to this advancement in minimally invasive treatments, the benefits to patients now include:
- Minimal pain following the procedure (resulting in little need for medication)
- Faster recovery times – one cut is far easier to heal than several
- Reduced risk of complications such as infection
- Cosmetic benefits of only one very small scar (sometimes no visible scar at all)
- Minimal down-time required – get back into your normal activities within 2 weeks
How can single cut laparoscopy benefit women?
Single cut laparoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of women’s gynaecological conditions. These include:
- Removing endometriosis
- Treating ectopic pregnancy
- Removing problematic scar tissue
- Treating fibroids
- Removing/draining ovarian cysts or tumours
- Carrying out tubal ligation (‘tying tubes’)
- Investigating gynaecological cancers
- Treating pelvic inflammatory disease
Where to get further advice
Northside Gynaecology is one of the few practices in Brisbane that performs single cut laparoscopy at North West Private Hospital (just 15 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD). Our specialists use this minimally invasive technique to diagnose and treat a wide range of gynaecological issues.
To book an appointment at one of our convenient Brisbane locations, give us a call on 07 3088 9005.