Single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS)
Most traditional laparoscopic gynaecological operations require an incision in the umbilicus (‘tummy button’) so a camera can be used along with a further two or three smaller cuts lower in the abdomen so other instruments can be used to grasp and move various structures.
Single incision laparoscopy surgery (SILS) is a special form of laparoscopy that uses one cut in the abdomen through which all the instruments required for the operation are placed.
The main advantages of SILS are the improved cosmetic appearance after surgery by avoiding several scars near the bikini line, a reduction in pain following surgery and the possibility of a slightly faster recovery than with traditional laparoscopic techniques.
Further training is required to safely use this technique and special equipment is also needed. The latter includes a port designed to allow the camera and several instruments to be inserted at once without gas used to inflate the abdomen to leaking out.
Not all gynaecological operations may be performed using SILS. However, ectopic pregnancies, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and fibroids may be treated this way where appropriate. It is also possible to perform a hysterectomy using SILS. Advanced laparoscopes that allow the lens to have a range of movement thereby providing a better view have also been developed.
Port placed over the umbilicus
A flexible laparoscope used in SILS