Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Department of Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal Surgery

>> About us
>> Our Team
>> Conditions and Procedures

Open or laparoscopic surgery

Open (also known as laparotomy) surgery is an operation performed through either a vertical midline incision in the abdomen or via a horizontal incision in the abdomen. This was the conventional method of performing any major abdominal procedure until about 10 to 15 years ago when laparoscopic (also known as keyhole) surgery became increasingly common.

The main difference between open and laparoscopic procedure is in the incision on the abdomen.

Internally, the procedure is performed in the same way. Laparoscopic surgery offers significant advantages over open surgery in that patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery have less pain, faster recovery of intestinal function, shorter hospital stay and earlier return to work.

With technological advances, more complex procedures are being undertaken laparoscopically including colorectal cancer surgery. However, in some patients and in certain procedures, laparoscopic can be unsafe and open surgery remains necessary. Some of these situations include patients with severe lung disease, patients with severe abdominal adhesions from previous operations and patients undergoing major redo pelvic surgery.

Your doctor will discuss the most appropriate surgical approach with you.


Reviewed 2017