Over the past five years, a revolution has taken place in general surgery requiring the retraining of tens of thousands of surgeons and the retooling of their operating rooms. This startling change has come about because of the rapid acceptance of laparoscopic techniques for therapeutic intervention, particularly removal of the gallbladder. The term “laparoscopy” (from the Greek laparo, the flank, and skopein, to examine) refers to the visual examination of the abdominal cavity by means of an endoscope or telescope (the laparoscope). Laparoscopic surgery is a means of performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures after gaining access to the abdominal cavity.
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