What Is Laparoscopy? This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to examine the abdominal organs using a laparoscope. It does not necessitate large incisions in the skin and allows the doctor to examine the inside of your body without open surgery. A laparoscope is a long thin tube that has a high-resolution camera and high-intensity light attached at the front.
Why Is Laparoscopy Performed? It is used to identify and diagnose pelvic or abdominal pain. Laparoscopy is usually performed when noninvasive tests such as ultrasound MRI and CT scan don't provide adequate information for a diagnosis. A biopsy may also be taken during the procedure.
How Is Laparoscopy Performed? Laparoscopy is usually an outpatient procedure which means that you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery. It can be performed in an outpatient center or a hospital. You will likely be under general anesthesia which means you will be asleep and will not feel any pain. However, local anesthesia may be used. It numbs the area so that you do not feel any pain although you are awake. The doctor will make an incision below your navel. Carbon dioxide gas is inserted into the abdomen using a small tube (cannula) which is inserted into the incision. The carbon dioxide inflates your abdomen allowing the doctor to see the abdominal organs clearly. A laparoscope is then inserted through the incision. You may have up to four incisions made to allow other instruments to be inserted such as when taking a biopsy. After the laparoscopy is complete, the instruments are removed and the incisions closed up with surgical tape or stitches. The doctor may place bandages over the incisions. You will be under observation for several hours after the procedure before you can be released. Depending on your overall physical condition and the type of anesthesia used you may be released a few hour after the surgery or you may need to stay overnight at the hospital.
Results of Laparoscopy A pathologist will examine a biopsy if it was taken and send the results to your doctor. Normal results indicate the absence of hernias, intestinal blockage, and abdominal bleeding. Normal results also mean that your organs are healthy
Abnormal results indicate certain conditions which include: Hernias Appendicitis Adhesions or surgical scars Endometriosis Fibroids Tumors or cysts Cholecystitis Pelvic inflammatory disease Cancer Injury or trauma to a particular organ
Your doctor will schedule an appointment after the procedure to go over the results with you. In the case that a serious medical condition was found, he will give you the appropriate treatment.
What are the possible common complications? Minor complications include bruising around the incision site, infection, nausea, and vomiting. Serious complications include blood clots, damage to a major artery, damage to an organ, allergic reaction to anesthesia and complications from using the carbon dioxide gas.
What should be cared? It is unsafe to drive immediately after the procedure so you will need to have someone drive you home. The doctor may prescribe medication to relieve any throbbing and pain at the incision sites. You can resume normal activities gradually within a week. A follow-up appointment is usually given for two weeks after the procedure.