Philip L. Leggett, MD
Houstonlaparoscopic surgery

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Health Information

What is Laparoscopy?

Frankly, it's a better way for most people to undergo surgery. You:

  • experience less pain.
  • have shorter hospital stays (if any).
  • are less likely to develop post operative infections.
  • lose less blood than in traditional, or "open," surgery.
  • heal faster.
  • return to routine faster.

And you can thank TV for all these advantages.

You see, laparoscopy uses a high resolution fiberoptic television camera whose diameter is only a little larger than that of a No. 2 pencil, to project an image of a problem area in fine detail on a monitor for a surgeon. The "laparoscope" travels to its destination through a small incision (usually less than one-half inch). This innovation allows a doctor to view and access surgical objectives without having to make large, invasive cuts.

The actual surgery is performed with instruments also introduced through small incisions. First, tubes (called "trocars" or "cannula") are inserted into the incisions, then they are moved slowly to the surgical objective. These tubes act as pathways for the surgical instruments. The surgeon performs the operation with these instruments, using the image provided by the laparoscope to guide his or her efforts.

Introduced to medicine in the late 1980s, laparoscopy has become the standard of care for many surgeries, including gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). Key to the safety and effectiveness of any laparoscopic surgery is the skill and training of the surgeon who performs it.

Between 1990-2001, Philip L. Leggett, M.D., performed more than 6000 laparoscopic surgeries, ranging from gallbladder removals and hernia repairs to appendectomies and colon resections. Dr. Leggett also teaches other surgeons how to apply laparoscopic techniques.