06 Jan Laproscopy
What is it?
Laparoscopy is a very useful and commonly used diagnostic and operative procedure. Instead of making a large incision or cut, the surgeon makes a small cut near the navel and inserts a pencil-sized lighted tube and camera into the abdomen. The surgeon views the inside of the abdomen on a TV monitor to diagnose the problem. Certain times other small instruments are required in cases of surgery. Laparoscopy is also called keyhole surgery or band aid surgery.
Typically it is used in cases like diagnostics for infertility, tubal problems, endometriosis, and uterus cancer. Operationally it is also suggested for removal of diseased organs including uterus or ovary, ectopic pregnancy (in which the foetus develops outside the womb and in the fallopian tube), and adhesion removal.
There are a number of advantages to a laparoscopic surgery:
- Reduced pain due to small incision and less need of pain medication
- Shorter recovery time
- Less possibility of contamination from external factors
- Reduced hospital stay
The only real disadvantage of a laparoscopy is that it is a relatively costly procedure. Because it is a very precise surgery, it requires very skilled surgeons, specific instruments and infrastructure, which are expensive.
You may be given an enema a few hours before the surgery to empty your colon. Laparoscopy is almost always performed under general anesthesia. Typically it takes between 30 to 90 minutes, but may take longer depending on the problem.
During the surgery, a small incision is made near the naval. A hollow needle is put through the first incision and gas (carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide) is slowly supplied through the needle to inflate the belly. The gas lifts the abdominal wall away from the organs inside so your doctor can see clearly.
A thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) is then put through the incision to look at the organs. For diagnosis, your doctor might just take a look and be done. If surgery is required, other incisions may be made to insert multiple tools.
Once the procedure is over, all the instruments will be removed, and gas will be released. Incisions are closed with stitches and then bandaged. After the laparoscopy, you will need at least 2 to 4 hours of recovery time after which you can go home, unless advised otherwise. You can resume your normal activities the next day, but avoid strenuous activity or exercise for about a week. The small scar on the abdomen will fade with time.