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Laparoscopy: What you should know?

What is laparoscopy?

Gynaecological laparoscopy is a surgical diagnostic procedure that surgeons use to examine inside the abdominal area. It is used for diagnosis while examining the organs inside the abdomen as well as for treatment of various problems in the female reproductive system.

Laparoscopy is also called as minimal invasive surgery. It is a type of key-hole surgery. It is one of the major milestones in technological advancement in gynaecological treatment procedures.

Why is laparoscopy performed?

Laparoscopy is preferred to laparotomy as the latter will leave a large incision mark on the abdomen. Laparoscopy is a low-risk surgery without any major complications involved. The cost of laparoscopy is much lower than a normal abdominal surgery.

Laparoscopy is majorly used to diagnose issues regarding organs in the abdomen. Here are the reasons for your doctor to suggest a laparoscopy:

  • Examination of internal organs like appendix, liver, gall bladder, small and large bowel, spleen, stomach, pelvic or reproductive organs
  • As part of biopsy
  • As part of diagnosis regarding pelvic pain
  • For diagnosis and treatment for ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease etc.
  • Birth control measure like tubal ligation
  • Diagnosis of the cause of infertility. Cysts, fibroids, infection can lead to infertility in women. Laparoscopy is commonly used to determine the reason.
  • To check about cancerous growth or spread
  • To detect internal damage of organs after an accident
  • To detect and treat ovarian torsion
  • Removal of ovaries, uterus, spleen, gall bladder, etc.
  • During the procedure of oophorectomy, Cholecystectomy, appendectomy etc
  • To detect any kinds of abnormal growth in the abdominal area
  • To detect fluid in the abdominal cavity

How is laparoscopy performed?

Laparoscopy is done under general anaesthesia. You doctor will ask you to follow certain instructions depending on the reasons for the procedure and your health condition. You will be asked to avoid food and drinks for 6-12 hours before the surgery. In case you are under medication of anticoagulants, you will be asked to stop it.

During the Laparoscopic procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision near to the navel. A tube is inserted through the incision and the abdomen is inflated for a clear view. A laparoscope is inserted through the incision which will relay the visuals to a television monitoring screen in the operation theatre. The diagnosis or the treatment will be carried out accordingly after which the surgeons will put one of two stitches and bandage the incision.

You can leave the hospital after a few hours if there are no other complications. In case you show symptoms like intense stomach pain, difficulty to pass urine, fever etc, seek immediate medical help.

Risks involved in Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is comparatively a safe procedure and the risks are found in rare cases. Some patients may develop complication of anaesthesia but it is less common. Other possible risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Inflammation around the incision
  • Blood clot in the legs or pelvic region
  • Damage in the nearby organs