Single incision laparoscopic surgery is a surgical operation to remove the gallbladder stones through a single wound about the size of 2cm made in the navel. This method involves placing many instruments through a single incision and provides the surgeon an opportunity to view the surgical site from various angles improving visualization. Rather than using the traditional methods, where four to five incisions were made, this procedure uses a single entry point, providing shorter recovery periods, fewer scars and less pain. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery is amongst the latest laparoscopic techniques. Along with all other advantages, SILS is also covered under health care insurance. The patient’s recovery time is much faster and the period of stay in hospital is short.
The surgeon would assess an individual patient to decide whether or not he / she are a suitable candidate for SILS as it may not be applicable to the patients who are very obese, those who have had multiple previous abdominal operations and patients who are likely to have grossly enlarged or thickened diseased organ.
During the procedure, the surgeon takes several precautions. A SILS port is inserted into the belly button incision. The port is a soft and flexible instrument equipped with features to carry out the surgical procedure. The incision techniques allow the surgeon to carry out laparoscopy from various angles. This improves visualization and makes the procedure very efficient.
Major benefits of Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) are:
- Less pain from the single, short incision after surgery
- Faster return to normal diet
- Faster return to work or normal activity
- Better cosmetic healing (an almost invisible scar)
- Shorter hospital stay
- Further large scars carry the risk of incisional hernia, which can be avoided with SILS
- Open surgery takes a longer time to heal. The SILS procedure ensures rapid recovery time
- Fewer incisions mean lower possibility of developing infections and future adhesions, which may necessitate other surgeries
Some amount of pain for about 12 to 24 hours after SILS depending on individual tolerance. Also, some nausea and vomiting is not uncommon in the first 12 hours. Patients are always given medications to relieve the pain and take care of the nausea. Usually, the patient is allowed to drink fluids within 6 to 8 hours of surgery and is able to have meals from the day after surgery. In our society patients often prefer to take things easy for weeks after any operation because of a fear that they may harm themselves by being active. But after SILS all patients are encouraged to get up and walk as soon as they are comfortable. Many patients are able to go home the day after surgery and around 20% go home 48 hours later. In general, patients recover completely within 7 to 10 days. Soon after returning home the patients are allowed all activities they feel comfortable with. Depending on the nature of their job, most patients are able to return to work within ten to fifteen days and those involved in heavy lifting may require a little more time.