Minimally Invasive Surgery – Laparoscopy

What is laparoscopy?

A minimally invasive surgical technique through smaller incisions is called Laparoscopy. Through a tiny cut a thin fibre-optic instrument called laparoscope is inserted inside the abdomen. It gives a visualization of pelvic organs and treatment for the problems detected. Since the abdomen is not opened with a large incision the patient bounces back to normal faster.

Why is it required?

Laparoscopy in gynaecology is used to detect any abnormalities in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and other organs which are not visible by other diagnostic procedures such as X- rays and other such scans. Laparoscopy is used to detect and treat the conditions of infertility, ovarian cysts, fibroids, pelvic pain, endometriosis ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and other gynaecological problems.

How is laparoscopic surgery done?

Laparoscopic surgery is performed under general anaesthesia in the operation theater. Your operating surgeon will make a tiny incision in your abdomen through which the laparoscope is inserted.

The pelvic organs give a clear picture, as the abdomen is filled with a gas, usually carbon dioxide. If any abnormalities are detected that require treatment for such purpose other incision will be made to insert surgical instruments. On the completion of the treatment, the incisions are closed. Most of the gynaecological procedures may take about thirty minutes to an hour depending on the disease.

What precautions should be taken before the procedure?

You can continue with your regular medications, unless your doctor advises. You might need to have a bowel preparation which will empty your bowel prior the surgery. You require being on soft diet prior to the surgery.  If you develop any symptoms of illness prior to your surgery, please contact your doctor immediately.

What can be expected during recovery period?

Recovery is very fast as compared to open surgery. Patient can get back to work within 3-4 days. Rarely because of the gas used in the procedure you may suffer from pain in the shoulder or back. Heavy activities or exercise should be avoided until you recover completely.

What are the possible risks and complications of this procedure?

Just like any other surgical procedure, laparoscopic surgery is also associated with some risks and complications which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Problems of anaesthesia
  • Injury to internal or surrounding organs

Any specific complications and risks will be discussed before the procedure. There is a small risk that the procedure may not be completed laparoscopically in which case it will be converted to an open procedure for completion and patient safety.

What if I come across any problem during recovery period?

You should immediately seek medical attention if you undergo any of the below mentioned conditions:

  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to empty your bladder
  • Fever
  • Offensive vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding