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DIAGNOSTIC AND OPERATIVE LAPAROSCOPY

Introduction

           A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that doctors use to view a woman’s reproductive organs such as, fallopian tubes, uterus (womb), ovaries. It is a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure. Instead of making large incisions in certain operations, only small incision is made in this procedure.

laparoscopy uses an instrument called “laparoscope”, which is a long, thin tube with high-intensity light and high-resolution camera at the front. The laparoscope is inserted in the abdominal wall through an incision. As it moves along, the camera sends images to video monitor that helps the doctor to look directly at the outside of the uterus, ovaries and nearby organs.

Why a laparoscopy is done?

A laparoscopy is usually recommended when other diagnostic tests such as ultrasound and X-ray cannot confirm the cause of a condition or for a treatment. Your doctor might use laparoscopy to:

  • Remove an ovarian cyst
  • Remove fibroids
  • Remove womb or ovaries
  • Diagnose and treat endometriosis
  • Find the cause of pain in pelvic and abdominal regions.
  • Look for blockage of the fallopian tubes or other causes of infertility.
  • Investigate cancer or remove lymph nodes to treat cancer.
  • Treat an ectopic pregnancy

How laparoscopy is done?

           laparoscopy is performed while the patient is lying down in a slightly tilted position with the head lower than her feet. To prevent pain during surgery and relax the muscles, a general anesthetic will be given.

Next, the surgeon makes a small incision near the navel. A tube is inserted through the incision and gas is pumped through the tube to inflate the abdomen. Inflating the abdomen helps the surgeon to see the organs more clearly. Then a laparoscope is inserted through this tube.

If the laparoscopy is used to carry out a surgical treatment, such as removing fibroids or womb or ovaries, further incisions will be made in the abdomen. Small surgical instruments can be inserted through these incisions and the surgeon can guide them to the right place using the view from the laparoscope and required treatment can be carried out.

After surgery, the gas is let out of the abdomen and incisions are closed using stitches or clips and a dressing is applied.

Why laparoscopy is much preferable?

laparoscopy has become the standard approach for most common surgeries. Currently, technology is so advanced that almost all surgeries are performed laparoscopically. The laparoscopic approach is gaining popularity for several reasons and some of the important are as follows:

  • Faster recovery
  • Earlier return to normal activity
  • Shorter hospitalization when admission is needed.
  • Usually can be performed in the outpatient setting.
  • Reduced risk of postoperative adhesion formation.

What are the discomforts that can occur post laparoscopy?

After laparoscopy, patient may feel some discomforts which typically include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Gas in the abdomen might cause pain in the neck, shoulders and chest till 3 days after surgery.

How long does it take to recover from laparoscopy?

           The time it takes to recover from laparoscopy is different for every individual depending on the factors such as; reason for the procedure, patient’s general health condition and if any complications develop.

If the laparoscopy is performed to diagnose a condition, the patient may resume to her normal activities within five days. The recovery time after laparoscopy depends on the type of treatment done to treat the condition. If a minor surgery is performed such as removal of fibroids or ovarian cysts, the recovery time may be approximately two weeks. But if the laparoscopy is performed for the removal of womb or uterus, it may take as long as 12 weeks to resume normal activities.

When the surgery is finished, the patient is kept in observation for several hours before getting discharged from the hospital. The vital signs such as; breathing, heart rate are monitored closely and adverse reactions to the anesthesia or the procedure and prolonged bleeding.

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