Minimal access surgery of the urinary tract explained by Prof. Christopher Eden, the UK's most experienced laparoscopic urologist at over 3,000 cases.

Why Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a technique of performing a surgical operation using instruments inserted through narrow hollow tubes ('ports') rather than through a larger incision, as in traditional surgery. The result is shorter hospitalisation and convalescence, less bleeding and post-operative pain and fewer wound complications.

fig1Ports placed for laparoscopic radical prostatectomy fig2Incision for traditional radical prostatectomy

Although laparoscopy is a type of keyhole surgery, the view obtained is much better than looking through a keyhole. Modern equipment produces a wide, bright, clear and magnified view of the operation. The gas used to distend the abdomen during laparoscopy also greatly reduces bleeding during surgery.

What is 'urology'?

'Urology' is the study of the causes and treatment of diseases of the urinary system.

Milestones in UK laparoscopic urinary tract surgery

1992

1994

2000

2001

First laparoscopic nephrectomy

First laparoscopic pyeloplasty *

First laparoscopic radical prostatectomy *

First radical cystectomy *

* performed by Prof. Christopher Eden

Although the first laparoscopic operation to remove a kidney (nephrectomy) was performed in the USA in 1991, the uptake of laparoscopic surgery was initially slow in all but a few centres.

The reasons for this are that it requires a great deal of experience to master this method of operating, and the body of evidence necessary to convince urologists to learn this technique has only been present for a relatively small number of years.

As a result, few centres worldwide have equivalent depth of experience in laparoscopic urological surgery. I undertake over 200 major laparoscopic procedures each year and have trained many surgeons from the UK and abroad.

 fig3The male urinary tract