Key Hole Surgery

Keyhole surgery is a technique using which the surgeon can carry out medical procedures inside the body through a small incision. Keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery is the name given to different means of laparoscopic surgery. This surgery is known as keyhole surgery because it involves the formation of little cuts or incisions similar in size to a keyhole. These incisions range from 0.5 to 1.0 centimeters. This surgery is called minimally invasive as it is done in a closed environment and the internal organs are not even touched in the majority of these surgeries. Keyhole surgery involves the use of an imaging instrument called a laparoscope fitted with a light and camera that is used to see the insides of the body. The surgeons can pass different surgical pieces of equipment through these holes also in case there is a need to carry out some procedures. Keyhole surgery is used to diagnose and treat several conditions of the abdomen, pelvis, other joints, etc.

Types of Keyhole surgery:

Keyhole surgery can be used for almost all parts of the body. The name of the procedures, however, vary depending on the regions involved. For example:

  1. Ovarian Cystectomy: This procedure involves the removal of cysts from one or both ovaries. Cyst formation is very common once in a lifetime. However, not all the cysts are such serious concerns to be worried about s most of the cysts disappear on their own. At other times, they do not interfere with the menstrual cycles of the woman and hence, are not worrisome. Such cysts can be removed using keyhole surgeries and therefore, without much of a hassle.

  2. Endometriosis: Keyhole surgery is also used to treat endometriosis as it makes it very easy to easily access the endometrial tissue and such tissue can be removed without causing a lot of trouble to the woman having endometriosis.

  3. Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy refers to a kind of pregnancy where a fertilized egg gets implanted outside the uterine cavity and starts growing there. Keyhole surgery can be used to remove such ectopic tissue and that too, with less invasion.

There are also other parts or body organs like the abdomen, pelvis, skull, lungs, veins, joints, etc. where keyhole surgery is being used by doctors worldwide. Some of such procedures are:

Arthroscopy: This is the name given to the surgery taking place on or near a joint (arthro- Latin) and hence the name arthroscopy.

Parathyroidectomy: This procedure involves the removal of parathyroid glands carried out through the keyhole incisions.

VATS (Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery): IN this procedure, the surgeon and the team insert a long and sleek tube fitted with a camera known as a thoracoscope that is fitted with a small camera along with other surgical equipments through the small incisions in the chest so that surgery can be performed on any of the thorax parts for example, lungs, chest, etc.


When do you need a keyhole surgery?

Keyhole surgery is mostly the first surgery to be recommended by the surgeons as the incisions made in keyhole surgery are quite small and hence, heal very quickly. Because of the same reason, there are very less or slightly noticeable scars in the person’s body and very few complications can arise in such a procedure as compared to the traditional open surgery which involves large cuts that can also be taking a lot of toll on some people’s confidence at times. Hence, for people concerned about the scarring caused by operations, keyhole surgery comes as the best bet. This surgery is a very good option for people who are about to under surgeries/ procedures for body parts that are most visible to others. There are hence, a lot of advantages of keyhole surgery.

How is Keyhole Surgery performed?

  • First of all, small incisions known as ports will be created by your surgeon. These incisions should just be large enough that the required instruments can be passed through them.

  • The surgeon then passes cameras and instruments through these incisions into the body so that a proper assessment of the body can be carried out first. The nature and way of operating will depend on the location of the associated site and the kind of surgery being performed by the medical team.

  • If the problem is in the stomach area then your surgeon will first pump carbon dioxide in your stomach so that the surface area/ space gets increased for carrying out the procedure with increased accessibility and visibility. Once, the surgery has been done, the gas will be let out by the team. If some of the gas is left behind, it can only cause some pain in the shoulder for a temporary duration.

  • All the ports will be closed through stitching and sterile dressings. The surgeon usually lets you to go home the same day (for most of the cases).  


Preparation of the Keyhole surgery:

Usually, the surgical team provides you with the pre-surgery guidelines that you have to follow. These guidelines include the following things:

  1. He/ She should stop the intake of food and fluids for a recommended period (usually 6 to 12 hours before the procedure).

  2. Smoking should be at least stopped till the operation is carried out.

  3. If anticoagulants (blood thinners) are being used by someone, he/ she may be asked to stop taking them for a few days before the surgery.

  4. If any pre-operative bathing or shaving instructions are given, they should be properly followed.

  5. One should have a pre-arranged ride ready to take him/ her home after the procedure.

  6. Pieces of jewelry or any valuables should be left at home.

  7. If you have any concerns regarding the surgery, you should discuss them with your surgical team and make sure that you have all the required answers.

Recovery from a Keyhole Surgery:

There are many advantages of keyhole surgery over traditional surgery as it involves smaller incisions, causes less pain and bleeding, and also heals very fast as compared to traditional surgery. Open surgery has a lot of drawbacks like causing adhesions, scars, and making problems to internal organs and the worst of all these drawbacks is the increased time needed for recovery in the traditional open surgery. Keyhole surgery hence seems to be the best option till now as it needs not much time to recover. It also has very little and insignificant discomforts like a slight pain in the shoulder or back after the surgery that too, disappear within just a two to three days at most.