The advent of videoscopic and radiologic means of visualization have eliminated the need for large wounds in many common surgeries. Wake Forest University Department of General Surgery has several specialists trained in these new techniques as well as researchers developing new ways of limiting surgical trauma.
The Laparoscopic Surgery Service consists of three attendings and a fellow. Resident coverage is a chief and an intern. Each year the service performs in excess of 800 cases. 75% are elective laparoscopic cases, worked up in clinic and operated on as outpatients or with a brief hospital stay.
The last few years have included 150 to 200 Bariatric procedures. In addition the laparoscopic service performs a large number of foregut surgeries and solid organ procedures like splenectomy and live donor nephrectomy. The remaining cases are either call related general surgery or open foregut cases.
The attendings are trained in both general and laparoscopic surgery and have especial interest in teaching. Teaching outpatient work up and management is a focus of the service as is the learning laparoscopic principles and procedures. The inpatient list is usually short and regular operating room participation is available and expected at all levels.
Additional experience is obtained from the laparoscopic animal and simulation labs, where students and residents develop skills in the minimally invasive field. There is a weekly conference where basic and clinical sciences are combined in different topics of general and laparoscopic surgery.