Minimally invasive surgery allows the surgeon to examine and treat disorders in body cavities, such as the abdomen, through small incisions. An endoscope (a tube-like viewing instrument with a light source and a camera) is inserted through one incision to provide a view of the cavity.
During the procedure
In an abdominal procedure, such as an operation on the gallbladder, several tiny incisions are made in the wall of the abdomen. Gas is pumped in to inflate the abdomen to create space, and the endoscope is inserted. Using the view provided by the endoscope on a monitor as a guide, the surgeon inserts and manipulates instruments.
Inside the abdomen
This endoscopic view displayed on a monitor shows forceps being used to grasp the gallbladder ready for its removal.