LAHORE: Surgery is a very vast field and a surgeon is continually required to update his knowledge about new technologies and researches relating to his specialised field. In recent decades, the use of laparoscopy has revolutionised surgery. It is indeed the most significant development in surgery. These views were expressed by Shaukat Khanum Hospital Oncology Department Head & Gastrointestinal Surgery Dr Shahid Khattak during a media talk on Saturday. He added that the recent trends are toward site specialisation which means that you operate on few organs or operate for few disorders. Explaining as to what is laparoscopy, he said, “It is a procedure to look inside stomach or chest cavity and a laparoscope is like a thin telescope with a light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside the abdomen/chest through a small cut in the skin which enable surgeons to see the diseased body part in a better way on screens through high definition camera. It was not possible a few decades back. The second most important benefit of laparoscopy is small incisions. Unlike open surgery procedure, a patient with smaller incisions recovers more quickly and can be discharged home earlier. In the start, laparoscopy was only used for non-cancerous surgeries, but now it has become an integral part of cancer surgery procedures.” Talking about the facilities of surgeries at Shaukat Khanum, Dr Shahid Khattak said, “At our hospital, laparoscopy is being used for more than 15 years. A total of 95 percent of esophageal and intestinal operation are done through laparoscopy, which indirectly helps us in providing treatment to maximum possible number of people. The sooner a patient recovers; he or she is discharged leaving the space for other patients. This is very important as shortage of beds always remains a very serious concern at hospitals.” Dr Khattak said, “Laparoscopy is mostly used in operations of lungs, esophageal or intestinal cancer. Although this technology is available in many other hospitals in Pakistan, but at Shaukat Khanum, on virtue of being a specialised cancer hospital, use of this technology is much higher. Although it is not the right time to compare the long term success ratio of laparoscopy with open surgery, but the short term results helps us foreseeing excellent long term results. New technologies in this regard will help us providing better treatment to the poor cancer patient.” Dr Khattak is a specialist in gastrointestinal surgery and considered an expert in this field. Published in Daily Times, July 15th 2018.