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Adv Surg. 2010;44:1-27.

Single-port laparoscopic surgery.

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  • 1General Surgery Residency, Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, 545 Barnhill Drive #203, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


Laparoscopic surgery performed through a single-incision is gaining popularity. The demand from the public for even less invasive procedures will motivate surgeons, industry, and academic centers to explore the possibilities and refine the technology. Although the idea seems quite attractive, there are several technological obstacles that are yet to be conquered by improved technology or additional training. The question of safety has yet to be answered and will require well-designed randomized control trials. Opponents to the approach argue that the size of the single incision (see Table 1) is frequently larger than all the standard laparoscopy incisions combined. On the other hand, proponents remember a similar argument from traditional open surgeons during the initial development of laparoscopy. That argument was quickly discredited when the immediate benefits oflaparoscopy were compared with patients undergoing surgery with small laparotomy incisions. During the development of a new technique, the learning curve exposes patients to risk and society to expense. LESS pioneers appear to have reached a level of comfort with technology and techniques that paves the way for scientific scrutiny. Perhaps, the surgical community will capitalize on this situation with randomized, controlled studies and sound evidence to support or refute the benefits of LESS. If we do not seize this opportunity, patient demand and industry's dual edge message of financial success versus fear of losing referrals will lead to a scenario similar to the development of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the 1990s. Regardless of its future, the surgical community will still benefit from a renewed excitement as surgeons aim to continually reduce the amount of pain and trauma our patients must endure. In addition, technological advances on instrumentation will benefit the field of laparoscopy and improve patient care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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