Technical Advances in LESS Surgery

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By Erdogan Okatan

While traditional laparoscopic surgery offers benefits like less pain, faster recovery time and improved cosmesis over open surgery, single-site surgery has the potential to extend these benefits even further. LESS (laparo-endoscopic single-site) surgery is an advanced, minimally invasive surgical technique in which an endoscope and hand instruments are inserted through an access port via a single incision, often made in the navel.

Recent advances among early adopters in laparoscopic technology have allowed surgeons to more easily and efficiently perform minimally invasive procedures using the LESS technique, an advanced technology platform that gives surgeons the ability to perform minimally invasive single-site surgery with improved flexibility of laparoscopic instruments and advanced imaging quality. The platform combines endoscopic and laparoscopic technology with triport/quadport access systems that allow surgeons to perform abdominal surgery though just one incision in the umbilicus. Additionally, a full line of multifunctional and curved instruments have been added to allow surgeons the advantage of performing minimally invasive surgeries in a new way.

Endoscopic Surgery Development

Flexible endoscopy began purely as a diagnostic technology used to identify the source of bleeding or to find polyps; at the same time, surgery was becoming less invasive.1 “Today, the evolution of endoscopy and surgery are intersecting: flexible endoscopy has the tools to perform surgical procedures and surgery has become more minimally invasive; evolving from laparoscopy with rigid scopes to using flexible scopes to perform laparoscopic surgery," said Lee Swanstrom, MD, program director of minimally invasive surgery for Legacy Health System, in Portland.

Many surgeons have found that standard laparoscopic instruments are difficult to manipulate through single incision. To address this concern, flexible laparoscopic tools equipped with rotating handles and articulating tips have recently been introduced to the market, increasing the surgeon’s flexibility and his or her ability to move the tools within a single incision.2

One of the centers utilizing advanced technology is Tampa General Hospital, where Dr. Sharona Ross, assistant professor of surgery, has successfully performed a number of LESS surgical procedures using an advanced technology platform. 

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