Is the surgery done through several small holes in the abdominal wall. Using a camera attached to a thin metal telescope the surgeon can see the inside of the abdomen on monitors and performs the operation with instruments inserted through these holes.
What are the benefits? The discomfort with smaller incisions is less. Hospital stay is shorter. Return to normal activities is earlier. Scarring is less visible.
Factors such as prior surgical history and characteristics of the disease will determine if a minimally invasive procedure can be performed safely and successfully. Whether performed through open or laparoscopic approach, the operation is the same.
(Simplified from Patient Eduction Brochures of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)