Laparoscopy & Endoscopy - Surya Hospitals | Know the Difference
As the world is progressing, so is the realm of medical science, with so many advancements taking place, every now and then, that have made it possible to address the most complex medical problems with added safety and efficacy. The field of surgery, especially, has seen many innovations that have become a source of hope for people far and wide. Endoscopy and Laparoscopy are two such modalities that have made a revolutionary impact in the field. A lot of you must be familiar with these two terms, but there is often some confusion related to how these differ from each other. This blog, by experts from one of the leading hospitals in India, Surya Hospitals, will help you understand the difference between Laparoscopy and Endoscopy.
Evolution of Surgery
While many think that surgery is a part of modern medical science, the reality is that it reaches back to the pre-classical ages. Though there were not as many means and resources as there are now, people have developed the basic concept and utilized it to save lives. However, during those times, the risks were significantly high and so were the complications. As time passed by, man developed means to overcome the challenges that impacted the outcomes of surgery. Utilizing technology, experience and available resources, many advancements were made and are still going on.
We have reached an era where surgery no longer scares people, and this is primarily owing to the developments that have made it much more safe. Who would have thought that there would be a time when doctors would actually treat problems without making large incisions? Well, we are living in those times now, witnessing it all. From being bedridden for weeks to being discharged on the very same day, the field of surgery has come a long way with procedures like Endoscopy and Laparoscopy.
What is Laparoscopy
Laparoscopy, which is often referred to as keyhole surgery, is a minimally invasive technique used by doctors to examine the organs in the abdominal and pelvic area. This is done with the help of a special instrument known as a laparoscope which is inserted into the patient's body by making 2 to 3 tiny cuts. The laparoscope is a thin, flexible tube that has a camera and a light source which can be easily introduced into the body and moved around for detailed visualization, due to its flexibility.
What is Endoscopy
Endoscopy is predominantly a diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to examine the organs of the Gastrointestinal tract. This is done using an instrument that is somewhat similar to a laparoscope, i.e. the endoscope. The long tube is fitted with a camera and light source and is flexible enough to pass through the GI tract. It can be introduced via the mouth or through the openings in the groin.
What is the difference between Laparoscopy and Endoscopy?
1. Cuts and incisions in Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
In the case of Endoscopy, doctors do not need to make any incisions as they use natural openings in the body for introducing the endoscope and accessing the internal structures. The endoscope can be introduced via the vaginal opening, anal opening or even via the mouth, depending on which area is to be accessed.
In the case of Laparoscopy, doctors need to make tiny, keyhole incisions for accessing the affected area. These cuts are around 1 to 1.5 cm in length and are usually made near the belly button or pelvic area, in a way that there is no significant visible scarring.
2. Purpose of Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
Endoscopy is predominantly a diagnostic procedure that is used for assessing an existing problem, determining the underlying cause of certain symptoms and detecting any suspected abnormalities related to the digestive tract. It can also be used to collect tissue samples for detailed diagnosis.
Laparoscopy, on the other hand, is only used for assessing, evaluation and diagnosing problems that concern the organs and structures in the abdominal cavity. It is also used to guide doctors in performing minimally invasive surgical interventions to treat such problems.
3. Anesthesia & Sedation in Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
As Endoscopy is a non-invasive procedure, there is no need to make the patient unconscious. Some people may complain of mild discomfort during the procedure, for which local anesthetics may be used. If the endoscopy is done on the upper part of the digestive tract, moderate to deep sedation may be needed. Laparoscopy is an invasive procedure, and as such anesthesia and sedatives are used. This helps to make sure that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort. Traditionally, doctors used general anesthesia as it allows precise management of ventilation. Nowadays, regional anesthesia is also used.
4. Hospital Stay following Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
In the case of Endoscopy, the patient is kept under observation for around an hour after the procedure. For those who have received anesthesia, the observation period can be a bit longer than this. Overnight stay is required rarely if the patient has undergone a procedure like Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
In the case of Laparoscopy, the patient might be required to stay at the hospital overnight for thorough observation. This is done to make sure that there are no immediate complications
5. Conditions addressed in Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
Endoscopy may be used to treat, diagnose and assess conditions like Achalasia, Barrett’s Esophagus, Tumors of the GI Tract, Strictures, Bile Duct Stones, Gastrointestinal Bleeds, Chronic Diarrhea, Polyps, Crohn’s Disease, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Cancerous & Pre-cancerous GI conditions, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Bowel Obstruction, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis. Laparoscopy may be used to assess and treat problems like Appendicitis, Colorectal Cancer, Diverticulitis, Gallstones, Bowel Incontinence, Rectal Prolapse, Ectopic Pregnancy, Tumors, Cysts, Fibroids, Polyps etc.
6. Common procedures in Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
Common Endoscopic procedures include Capsule Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, ERCP, Esophageal Manometry, Virtual Endoscopy, Small Bowel Manometry and Upper GI Endoscopy. Common Laparoscopic procedures include Rectopexy, Gastric Bypass, Cholecystectomy, Pregnancy , Urethral Reconstruction, Hernia Repair Surgery and Tubal Ligation.
7. Time taken for Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
Time taken for an Endoscopy can range anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the procedure that is to be performed and the severity of the condition that is being addressed. Time taken for a Laparoscopy can range anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the underlying problem and how serious it is.
8. What follows after Endoscopy and Laparoscopy:
After Endoscopy, it is common to experience symptoms like mild cramps and abdominal bloating. This is caused by the use of Entonox during the procedure. After Laparoscopy, one may feel pain and discomfort for a few days. This can be managed with the help of pain medication prescribed by the doctors.
The differences between Laparoscopy and Endoscopy are noteworthy, however, we cannot deny the fact that both procedures are very important and play a crucial role in the field of surgery. These have made it possible to diagnose and treat complex problems with added safety, efficacy and benefits like reduced anesthesia-related complications, minimal blood loss, reduced pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, little to no scarring and improved outcomes.
Just like any other medical intervention, there are slight complications associated with Endoscopy and Laparoscopy as well, such as infections, injuries and perforations. Hence it is advisable to go for expert opinion. At Surya Hospital, we integrate our treatments with world-class technology and the expertise of a highly skilled team of specialists, to ensure the finest possible outcomes. The treatment is planned with a personalized approach to address the specific needs of every individual and after making sure that it is most likely to give positive outcomes. You can get in touch with our experts to explore the finest Laparoscopy and Endoscopy procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are both Laparoscopy and Endoscopy non-invasive?
A: No, only Endoscopy is a non-invasive procedure, whereas Laparoscopy is minimally invasive, performed by making tiny, keyhole incisions.
Q: Which is better, Endoscopy or Laparoscopy?
A: Both Endoscopy and Laparoscopy are different procedures that serve varied purposes. It cannot be pinpointed which one is better. Doctors recommend these based on your symptoms or condition that is to be addressed.
Q: What are the contradictions of Laparoscopy and Endoscopy?
A: Laparoscopy may not be performed if the patient is menstruating, has abdominal bleeding, has bowel obstruction or has an intra-abdominal injury. Endoscopy may not be performed if the patient has acute myocardial infarction, peritonitis, acute perforation and fulminant colitis.
Q: How long does it take to recover from Laparoscopy vs Endoscopy?
A: Most patients take around a week or two to recover from Laparoscopy, whereas, after endoscopy, you may need a day of rest and then resume normal activities.
Q: Can Laparoscopy be used for removing an appendix?
A: Yes, Laparoscopy is used for removing the appendix. The procedure is known as Laparoscopic Appendectomy.