Laparoscopic surgery, sometimes called diagnostic laparoscopy, refers to a surgical procedure that examines the body organs in the belly. It's basically a low-risk, minimally invasive technique that necessitates a few minor cuts. The laparoscopic process involves the use of a laparoscope to examine the abdominal organs.
The laparoscope is a long, narrow tube with a front-mounted high-intensity light as well as a high-resolution camera. The tool is inserted into the abdominal wall via an incision as the camera transmits photos to the monitor as it goes along.
The surgeon can look at the body organs in real-time with laparoscopic surgery, which eliminates the need for open surgery. During this process, he or she may also take biopsy samples.
Reasons for Laparoscopic Surgery
The surgeon can perform laparoscopic surgery because of various reasons, diagnoses, and medication conditions. Other reasons can include diagnostic procedures, tubal ligation, and treatment procedures for some disorders.
The following are some of the most common purposes for laparoscopic surgery:
- Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis diagnosis and treatment, pelvic inflammatory disease, persistent pelvic pain, and certain infertility causes
- Laparoscopic surgery for fibroids treatment or removal
- Laparoscopic surgery for ovarian cysts, uterus, and lymph nodes
- Laparoscopic surgery for ectopic pregnancy removal.
- Urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and some types of cancer treatment.
- Examining malignancies of the uterus, ovary, and cervix.
When other diagnostic tests fail to give adequate details or insight to make a diagnosis, the doctor can suggest laparoscopic surgery. The process can also be used to obtain a biopsy, or tissue sample, from a specific abdominal organ.
On the other hand, laparoscopic surgery may be recommended to evaluate the following body organs:
- Pelvic (the reproductive organs)
- The small intestine and the colon
Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery
A laparoscopy, like any other surgical treatment, has advantages and disadvantages. By comparing laparoscopic surgery versus open surgery, the benefits of the procedure become clear.
The following are some of the advantages of laparoscopic surgery;
- It’s less painful, unlike an open procedure
- Involves a quicker recovery
- Involves small incisions or cuts
- Associated with fewer infection risks
How to Prepare for Laparoscopic Surgery
Before undergoing laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon will first discuss with you what the procedure entails. Ensure that you ask all the questions and talk about any concerns you might have with the surgeon.
Your provider will inquire about your previous medical history. He or she can also perform a physical examination to ensure that you are healthy enough for the surgery. Blood testing and other diagnostic procedures may be necessary.
You should not consume anything for at least eight hours prior to the surgery. Inform your doctor if you are allergic or sensitive to any drugs, tape, latex, or anesthetic medicines (local and general). Also, tell him or her about all of the medications you're taking. This applies to prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbs, vitamins, and other supplements.
In addition, you should inform your healthcare provider if;
- You have a history of bleeding issues, tell your provider.
- You’re taking any blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or any other drugs that alter blood clotting.
- You’re pregnant or believe you might be.
How Laparoscopic Surgery is done
In most cases, laparoscopic surgery is performed as an outpatient operation. This implies you will be able to leave the hospital the same day. The procedure can also be done in a medical clinic or an outpatient surgical facility.
For this form of surgery, you will most likely receive general anesthesia. Hence, you will not experience any discomfort and remain unconscious throughout the operation. An intravenous (IV) line is put into one of the veins to administer general anesthesia. The doctor can also administer certain drugs as well as fluids via the IV.
Local anesthesia is sometimes utilized instead. It numbs the surgical area, meaning you will not experience any discomfort even though you are conscious during the procedure.
During laparoscopy, the surgeon creates an incision under the belly button and inserts a tiny tube (cannula). He or she uses the cannula to put carbon dioxide gas into the abdomen. This makes it easy to view the abdominal organs much clearly.
After that, the surgeon will put the laparoscope via the incision immediately after the abdomen expands. The pictures from the camera linked to the laparoscope are displayed on the monitor. This makes it easy to see the organs in real-time.
The size and number of surgical incisions will vary depending on the condition the surgeon is trying to verify or rule out. You will generally have about one to four cuts, each measuring between one and two centimeters in length.
Other surgical tools can as well be put through these incisions. For instance, the surgeon might require to conduct a biopsy using a different surgical tool. He or she can then extract a small tissue sample from the suspicious area for analysis.
Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will remove the instruments. Stitches or surgical tape are used to close up the incisions and cover them with bandages.
Laparoscopic Surgery Recovery
The medical team will closely monitor you for a few hours after the procedure before being discharged from the hospital. The critical signs will be observed, including breathing and heart rhythm. They will also monitor any adverse responses to the anesthesia or surgery and any persistent bleeding.
The release timing might, however, vary. It can depend on your current health state, the kind of anesthetic that was used, and the surgery's impact on your body. You may have to stay in the hospital overnight in some circumstances.
If you had general anesthesia, you should ask your family member or close friend to drive you back home. Because the impacts of general anesthetic take some hours to fade, driving following the operation can be dangerous.
You may experience significant pain and throb in the places where incisions were created for several days after your surgery. Any soreness or pain should subside within a few days. To alleviate the pain, your provider may recommend some medication.
Shoulder soreness is also common following your operation. The carbon dioxide gas that the surgeon uses to blow up the abdomen and make a working room for the surgical tools is usually the source of such pain. The diaphragm nerves connecting with the shoulder may irritate because of the gas and could also induce bloating. However, within a few days, the pain should subside.
After one week, you should be able to resume your normal activities. Also, you will have to see your doctor for a follow-up appointment two weeks following your laparoscopic surgery. The following are some of the things you need to do to make your laparoscopic surgery recovery process go more smoothly:
- Reduce the risk of blood clots by starting with modest activity once you are able to.
- Get a better night's sleep than usual.
- To relieve the agony of a sore throat, take throat lozenges.
- Put on loose and fitting clothes.
Laparoscopic Surgery Results
Laparoscopic surgery results that are normal imply no abdominal hemorrhages, hernias, or intestinal blockages. They also indicate that all of the body organs are in good working condition.
On the other hand, abnormal laparoscopic surgery results can indicate a variety of diseases, including;
- Surgical scars or adhesions
- Appendicitis, a condition in which the intestines become inflamed.
- Fibroids or abnormal uterine growths.
- Tumors or cysts
- Cholecystitis, a gallbladder inflammation
- Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus develops outside of it.
- Specific organ damage or trauma
- Inflammation of the reproductive organs (pelvic inflammatory disease)
Your medical provider will set up a meeting with you to discuss the laparoscopic surgery results. If a severe health condition is discovered, he or she will discuss treatment choices with you and help develop a suitable plan to address the problem.
Risks and Complications of Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is generally a safe operation. However, some of the risks and complications that might be associated with the procedure include;
- Injury or damage to the surrounding organs and blood vessels.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Anesthesia-related problems.
- Infection on the surgical site
- The abdominal wall inflammation
- A blood clot that could get into the bloodstream and cause coagulation in the pelvis, legs, or the lungs
- A blood clot that moves to the heart or brain and leads to a stroke or heart attack (uncommon complication).
Laparoscopic surgery refers to a diagnostic surgical technique that allows the healthcare practitioner to examine the abdomen and reproductive systems from the inside. This approach can also be used to obtain tissue samples for further testing (biopsies). A laparoscope, which is a narrow tube, is inserted into the abdomen via a small incision to look for an abnormality.
The medical provider can recommend laparoscopic surgery when diagnostic procedures like x-ray and ultrasound fail to verify the cause of a problem.