Minimally Invasive Abdominal Surgery

Conventional abdominal surgeries often involve large incisions that may require a lengthy recovery period. Depending on the type and scope of the condition, Central Maine Medical Center surgeons may recommend minimally invasive surgery as a solution to an abdominal issue.

Also known as laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive techniques involve one or more incisions about a half-inch or less in length. Tube-like surgical instruments are inserted into the body through these incisions. The number of incisions depends on the type of surgery and the number of tubes required.

The tubes allow surgeons to place tiny video cameras and specially designed surgical instruments inside the body in order to perform a procedure. This technology helps surgeons exercise greater precision, flexibility and control.

Minimally invasive surgery patients usually feel less pain, lose less blood, experience minimal scarring, spend less time in the hospital, and return to normal activities faster.

Central Maine Medical Centers offers the following minimally invasive surgeries for the abdomen.

  • Adrenalectomy - Masses can form on the adrenal glands that are cancerous or produce excess hormones. CMMC surgeons are skilled at removing the affected adrenal gland using minimally invasive techniques.

  • Appendectomy - Inflammation of the appendix, also known as appendicitis, usually requires that the organ be removed. CMMC surgeons use a laparoscopic technique for this procedure that minimizes scarring after surgery. The surgeon examines the abdominal cavity through a very small incision in order to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy) - Gallbladder issues generally arise from the presence of gallstones. Surgical treatment becomes necessary when the stones block the bile duct, causing a variety of symptoms ranging from fever and chills, to belly pain, to jaundice (yellowing of the skin). CMMC surgeons perform this surgery as an outpatient procedure using laparoscopic techniques. Patients can usually return home the same day they undergo the procedure.

  • Hernia Repair -Surgeons repair hernias through several incisions less than a quarter-inch in size using laparoscopic video equipment and instruments that permit repair from within the abdomen. This method lets surgeons access both sides of the abdomen through a single approach.

    • An inguinal or groin hernia is a weakness or defect in the abdominal wall that allows nearby tissue to bulge out into a small sack in the groin.

    • A ventral or incisional hernia occurs as a result of weakening muscle tissue in the abdominal wall, which allows tissue to push out into a small sack. This most commonly occurs at the site of a previous surgical incision, but may also appear at the navel, the upper abdomen, or along a major abdominal muscle called the rectus abdominis.

    • A parastomal hernia results from a weakness around a colostomy or ileostomy that causes protrusion through the space. Over time, the hernia will enlarge and the patient will have difficulty managing the stoma.

    • A paraesophageal hernia is a weakness in the diaphragm where the esophagus and the stomach meets. This results in the stomach moving into the chest cavity.

    • Other hernias, including pigelian, obturator, and diaphragmatic hernias.

  • Spleen Removal (Splenectomy) - With certain spleen disorders, a patient may lose a dangerously high number of platelets and/or red blood cells. If medications fail to treat the disorder, physicians may decide to remove the spleen. At CMMC, surgeons prefer to perform this procedure laparoscopically.