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What is a laparoscopy ?
A laparoscopy is a kind of exploratory surgery using a laparoscope. The surgeon explores your abdominal and\or pelvic cavities through one or two keyhole incisions. This is the less-invasive alternative to a laparotomy. It’s usually done for diagnostic purposes, to look for problems that imaging tests haven’t been able to identify. The surgeon may take tissue samples for biopsy during the exam. They may also be able to treat minor problems during the laparoscopy — for example, remove growths or blockages that they find during the exam.
Laparoscopic surgery uses the aid of a laparoscope, a thin rod with a camera attached, to visualize the abdominal and pelvic cavities through tiny keyhole incisions. This minimally invasive surgical technique is associated with faster recovery and better patient outcomes.
What surgeries are performed laparoscopically ?
Many common surgeries can be performed laparoscopically today. Whether you're a candidate for laparoscopic surgery will depend on how complicated your condition is. Some complicated conditions may require open surgery to manage. However, laparoscopic surgery is becoming the preferred default method for a growing list of common operations, due to its cost-saving benefits and improved patient outcomes. The list includes :
Can laparoscopic surgery be used outside the abdomen and pelvis ?
Minimally invasive surgical techniques are used in many areas of the body. Outside of the abdominal and pelvic areas, the method may be similar, but it’s called something else. In the chest cavity, a surgeon may use a thoracoscope to view your lungs through a keyhole incision. In the knee area, a surgeon may use an arthroscope. The scopes are named differently for the parts of the body they are looking at, but they are all modified versions of the same thing.
Is laparoscopic surgery major surgery ?
How safe is laparoscopic surgery ?
It's at least as safe as open surgery, and some risks are reduced. Smaller wounds reduce the risk of infection, blood loss and postoperative complications such as wound separation and incisional hernia. Laparoscopic surgery minimizes the direct contact between the surgeon and patient, which reduces the risk of any transmission of germs between the two. It also minimizes post-operative recovery time, which reduces the risks of prolonged bed rest, such as blood clots.
How should I prepare for my laparoscopic surgery ?
Since most laparoscopic surgeries are performed under general anesthesia, you’ll need to prepare for this in a few ways. You’ll need to avoid eating or drinking for about eight hours prior to surgery. This is to prevent nausea from the anesthesia. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. You’ll likely be able to go home the same day, but you may still be disoriented from the anesthesia. Your doctor may give you more specific instructions regarding your medications.
What happens before the procedure ?
What happens during the procedure ?
What happens after the procedure ?
Risks / Benefits
What are the advantages of laparoscopic surgery ?
What are the possible risks or complications of laparoscopic surgery ?
Possible complications include :
Since the original trocar may be inserted blindly before the laparoscope is inserted, there is some risk of injury from the original trocar insertion. Complications are rare but serious. They include :
Some people may have an adverse reaction to the carbon-dioxide gas that is used to inflate the abdominal cavity for the procedure. You will be screened for any cardiopulmonary conditions that would put you at risk of these complications prior to surgery. Complications include :
General surgical risks
All surgeries come with certain general risks. These include :
When is laparoscopic surgery not recommended ?
Contraindications for laparoscopic surgery include :
Recovery and Outlook
What is the recovery time from laparoscopic surgery ?
In most cases, you’ll be able to go home the same day. Full recovery time is about two to three weeks. During this time, you can expect some normal wound pain. This should be manageable with short-term pain medication and should improve over the first few days. If it doesn’t, let your doctor know.
When to Call the Doctor
When should I be concerned about my postoperative recovery ?
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following :
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