Role of Endoscopic Surgery in Cancer

What is Endoscopic Surgery?

Minimally invasive non-robotic Surgery is also known as Endoscopic Surgery. You may also be familiar with terminologies such as laparoscopic surgery, thoracoscopic Surgery or Surgery with a “keyhole.” They are minimally invasive procedures that use an endoscope through very small incisions to access the internal organs.

In endoscopic surgery, the surgeon inserts a long, flexible tube with a video camera, through a small incision or a natural orifice such as the mouth or nostrils. The flexible tube has a channel to operate tiny surgical instruments. The surgeons use these to perform the Surgery while viewing the organs on a computer monitor. This procedure allows the surgeon to see through the patient’s body and to operate through a much smaller incision than conventional open Surgery would normally require.

What are the benefits of endoscopic surgical procedures?

The benefits of endoscopic surgical procedures are:

  • Small incisions, or no incision
  • Much Less pain
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Lesser scarring
  • Reduced blood loss

What types of cancers are treated with Endoscopic Surgery?

Some conditions treated using Endoscopic Surgery include:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Liver tumours (benign and malignant)
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Some lung tumours
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Gynaecologic cancer or benign tumours,
  • Skull base brain tumours
  • Prostate cancer

How is Endoscopic Surgery done?

Typically an Endoscopy is not painful but it may be uncomfortable. Most people have only mild discomfort, resembling indigestion or a sore throat. Normally, the operation is performed while awake. You may get a local anaesthetic to numb a particular area of your body. For example, this may be in the form of a spray or lozenge to numb your throat. A sedative may also be offered to help you relax and make you less aware of what is happening around you. The endoscope is inserted into the body with care. An Endoscopy usually takes 15 to 45 minutes, depending on what it is used for. Usually, you can go home the same day and do not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

What are the side effects of Endoscopic Surgery?

Side effects due to Endoscopy are very rare, however, there is a minute chance that these may occur:

  • An infection in a part of the body the endoscope is used
  • Piercing or tearing of an organ, or bleeding
  • A bruise or burning sensation where the injection was given
  • Breathing difficulties