Here is a useful glossary of some minimally invasive surgery terms to help avoid getting confused in the jargon and terms commonly used

Types of surgery:

Endoscopy:  visual examination of the structures of the body with an endoscope

Endosurgery: see endoscopic surgery

Endoscopic surgery: surgery of internal body structures with visualisation by mean of an endoscope

Keyhole surgery: a term used commonly in the lay press. While this usually refers to laparosopic surgery and other endoscopic surgery techniques in human surgery (using a surgical endoscope and special minimally invasive instruments), this is not always the case in veterinary surgery, and traditional open surgery that has simply being perform through a smaller incision (with the associated risks of poor visualisation) may sometimes be erroneously referred to as "keyhole surgery" by practitioners, and mistakenly be assumed to be endoscopic surgery by animal owners

Laparoscopy: examination of the abdominal cavity with a rigid endoscope

Laparoscopic surgery: surgery of the abdominal cavity performed with a laparoscope

Minimal access surgery: see minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive surgery: a term usually used to imply surgery that is performed with an endoscope and special instruments to be as atraumatic as possible. While this is normally the case in human surgery, the term is sometimes misused in veterinary practice to refer to traditional open surgery that has simply being performed through a smaller incision (with the associated risks of poor visualisation)

Open surgery: the traditional method of surgery, with large incisions, organs and stuctures visualised by eye, and handled with hands and traditional surgical instruments and retractors. Surgical incisions are normally large to allow safe visual surgery and manipulation of tissues. Larger incisions result in slower healing, and increased post-operative pain in comparison to laparoscopic surgery. Not all surgical procedures can be performed by endoscopic techniques, and occasionally a laparoscopic operation needs to be converted to an open surgery for safety reasons

Thoracoscopy: examination (and associated surgery) of the chest cavity using a rigid endoscope

Video surgery:  another term for endoscopic surgery; the image from the endoscope is captured from the endoscope eyepiece and displayed and recorded via video equipment


Equipment, Procedures, Terminology:

Bipolar surgery: a type of electrosurgery where current flows only between the tips of the instrument, in contrast to monopolar surgery. Coagulation is more precise, with less collateral (non-target) heat production and tissue effect, and lower risks of adverse effects such as surface burns

Cannula: a tube inserted into a body cavity through which an endoscope of specially designed thin instruments are inserted for endoscopic surgery

Electrosurgery: the use of high frequency alternating current to remove, incise, coagulate, or or destroy tissue. This is accomplished by converting the electrical energy into heat through tissue resistance to the passage of the electrical current; also called surgical diathermy

Endoscope: An instrument used for direct visual inspection of hollow organs or body cavities. Specialy designed endoscopes are used for different purposes, and are named after their use (cystoscope used to examine the bladder, brochoscope used to examine the lungs, laparoscope to examine the abdomen, arthroscope to examine joints, gastroscope to examine the stomach, etc). Endoscopes may be flexible (such as those commonly used to examine the gastrointestinal tract and airways), or rigid (such as most surgical endoscopes) 

Insufflation: The inflation with carbon dioxide of the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery to create a working pace for visualisation and surgery

Intradermal sutures: sutures placed in the edge or underside of the skin edges to be closed, normally of an absorbable suture material, to allow a skin wound to be closed without external skin sutures

Laparoscope: an endoscope used to examine the abdomen

Open approach: placement of the first laparoscopic cannula without prior insufflation, by making a small incision, usually in the linea alba at the site of the umbilical scar and inserting the cannula. Currently favoured by human general surgeons over use of the verress needle, for its increased safety and control

Stack: a high trolley on which endoscopic equipements such as the insufflator, light source, camera unit and screen are positioned for endoscopic surgery

Trocar: sharp or blunt cannula obturator, used to insert cannulas into the abdomen or chest

Verres needle: a double lumen guarded needle traditionally placed blindly into the abdomen to allow insufflation before blind placement of the first laparoscopic cannula with a sharp trocar. Verres needle use has become less popular amongst human surgeons due to the increased risks associated with blind first trocar insertion. It is still popular amongst human gynaecologists, and tsill the method most commonly used by veterinary surgeons performing laparoscopic surgery on dogs and cats