Pure Laparoscopy Versus Hand-Assisted Laparoscopy
Hand-assisted laparoscopy is actually a blend of open-incision surgery and laparoscopy. With this technique, the surgeon makes an incision large enough to place a hand inside the patient’s abdomen. Several additional button-sized incisions are made for placement of a telescope and instruments. Using television screens, the surgeon can see the inside of the patient, the instruments, and their own hand in order to perform the surgery. Using a hand can be very useful for less experienced laparoscopic surgeons.
In urology, the most common use of this technique is kidney removal. Scott D. Miller, MD does not perform hand-assisted surgery, but prefers the pure laparoscopic technique (no large incision for hand placement). Patients should ask whether their surgeon uses hand-assisted laparoscopy versus pure laparoscopic techniques since these are both commonly referred to as “laparoscopy.”