Low-cost laparoscopic surgeries: Taking modern surgery to the poor

The benefits of minimally invasive surgery are essential to the lives of those in poor rural areas, unlike for the urban rich. Seeing as the absence of any family member in these areas adversely affects their lifestyles, rural patients need to return to work as soon as possible.

Key Point: Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is a relatively new technique that may reduce the trauma of surgery, leading to reduced port site complications and post-operative pain. This technique has benefits over traditional laparoscopic surgeries, including lower cost, which may make it a viable option even in rural areas.

Today, laparoscopic surgery is an integral part of the operative repertoire of any surgeon. It is a major technological innovation in surgery. Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is a relatively new technique developed for performing operations without a visible scar and has become an area of active research and interest within the general surgeons’ community. SILS may further reduce the trauma of surgery leading to reduced port site complications and post-operative pain.

In recent times, however, the problems associated with laparoscopic surgeries involving the use of gas have been the subject of discussions, and this has lead to the development of gasless laparoscopic surgeries. Moreover, despite the many advantages of minimally invasive surgeries, like less pain, short hospital stay, less blood loss, etc., laparoscopic surgeries are not popular in rural areas because of their high cost.

We describe our experience with single-incision gasless lift laparoscopic surgery, which has the advantages of laparoscopic and open surgeries and does away with the drawbacks of traditional laparoscopic surgeries.
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3 Comments

  1. vinod vijan
    Posted Oct 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Excellent Article. Keeping low cost surgeries in mind, what would be the cost in setting up a Laparoscopic unit?
    Please send the list and details by Email.
    Do we have Indigenous Laparoscopes of High quality and resolution?. Please mention.
    Thanks,
    Dr.Vijan. vmvijan@hotmail.com

  2. Dr.Pramod Kumar Sharma
    Posted Oct 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Good step ahead of conventional Laparoscopic surgery especially in rural and remote areas of our country so the benefit reaches poor and needy.Your work is remarkable and commendable though it needs more work and data by other surgeons also.Keep it on,all the best.

  3. Dr. J. Gnanaraj
    Posted Oct 2013 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the comments and responses. We are very interested in taking laparoscopic surgery to the poor. The Lift laparoscopy solves the problem of needing special instruments for operating. Conventional open surgical instruments could be used. We are also working on adapting the ordinary cameras [like the cell phone camera] and laptop computers to get the pictures for operating. We have not yet come out with the prototype but have friends who are working on it.

    Meanwhile you could have a look at the following link

    http://www.imedicalapps.com/2013/10/study-iphones-mobile-endoscopic/

    to see how a cell phone could be connected to an endoscopic camera. We also have a similar camera to have the processing and light source from laptop computer. We are also working on the possibility of working without the need for a telescope too which is possible because of the Lift system.

    With the Karunya University we are planning to have training program in Lift laparoscopic surgery for rural surgeons.

    Please write to jgnanaraj@gmail.com for further details

    Thank you once again for your interest in rural surgery

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