Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery with quicker recovery and less pain.  This involves placing pencil-sized instruments through small incisions to perform surgery rather than making one large open incision.

General surgeons and gynecologists have been doing procedures laparoscopically for quite some time.  It was not until the 1990's that several centers began doing laparoscopic urological surgery.  The first procedures were relatively simple ones, such as removing pelvic lymph nodes as a diagnositic procedure in select patients with prostate cancer.  As urologists became more facile at this, they began removing kidneys laparoscopically with some success.  After several years of refinement in technique, urologists now can do most procedures done open via a laparoscopic approach.  Procedures done currently via the laparoscopic approach include:

  1. Laparoscopic nephrectomy (removal of kidney for cancer).
  2. Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (removal of prostate for cancer, discussed on a separate page of this website).
  3. Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (removal of the portion of the kidney that has cancer, leaving the rest of the kidney intact).
  4. Laparoscopic cryoablation of kidney tumors (freezing the cancer portion of the kidney, discussed on a separate page of this website).
  5. Laparoscopic or robotic assisted laparoscopic cystectomy (removal of the bladder for cancer).
  6. Laparoscopic pelvic lymph node dissection (for removal of lymph nodes with certain testicular cancers).
  7. Laparoscopic varicocelectomy (tying off dilated veins to the scrotum).
  8. Laparoscopic kidney cyst removal.
  9. Laparoscopic bladder neck suspension for female stress urinary incontinence.

Dr. Hendricks gained extensive laparoscopic experience during his general surgery training in the early 1990's, performing a large number of gallbladder operations (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) and appendectomies (laparoscopic appendectomy).  Having already learned basic laparoscopic skills, he was quickly able to translate this with further training while in the Navy to perfoming more complex laparoscopic urological procedures.  He now has over six years experience performing these procedures, more than most other urologists in the area.

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