What is a laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy, also known as a diagnostic laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a high-resolution camera in the front, a high-density light and a thin tube. It is inserted into the belly through an incision (a cut) that moves along and the camera gives a clear picture or video of the female pelvic organs and the abdominal parts. Through the tube (laparoscope), tissue samples can be taken for biopsy and used to find out the occurrence of cyst, adhesions, infections and fibroids.
How is Laparoscopy Performed?
Laparoscopy is an outpatient procedure where the patient is allowed to go home on the same day after the surgery. After giving general anesthesia, a small tube called catheter is inserted to collect the urine and then with the application of a thin needle carbon dioxide gas is filled within the patient’s abdomen. The carbon dioxide gas keeps the abdominal organs away from the wall and reduces the risk of injury.
The surgeon inserts a laparoscope into the naval through a small cut which transmits images to the screen and gives the doctor a clear view of the organs. After the imaging tests, doctors can finalize the right treatment. In case, a surgery is needed, then it can be done through these holes by inserting an instrument using laparoscope as a guide. Post surgery, the gas is removed, and the cuts are closed with stitches and bandaged and sent to recovery.
Reasons to consider Laparoscopy
Laparoscopy is necessary to perform if the ovarian cyst has the following cases:
- More than 2.5 inches in diameter
- Intense Pain
- Higher chances of being malignant
Although rare, some complications due to laparoscopy may include:
- Blood clots
- Removal of one or both ovaries
- Other organs damage
- Recurrence of cyst
- Urination problems
- Nerve damage
Conditions that increase the risk of complications are:
- Being very thin
- Pelvic infection
- Chronic bowel disease
- Abdominal surgery is done previously
- Extreme endometriosis
- Smoking and drinking
- Use of certain prescript medications
Laparoscopy might not be conducted if there is a possibility of the following conditions:
- Aabdominal hernia
- Past abdominal surgery
- Abdominal cancer
Laparoscopy takes about 30 to 90 minutes depending on the severity of operation. But it can take a long time if another condition is found and treated (such as endometriosis). After the surgery, the patient is brought to the recovery room to get a checkup of blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and oxygen level.
A person may experience bloating, pain and bruising around the incision for a few days. The doctors may prescribe pain relievers or antibiotics and recommend to avoid carbonated beverages for 1 or 2 days after the surgery to lower the chances of vomiting and gas pain.
The carbon dioxide gas used at the time of surgery can irritate the diaphragm and cause a sudden pain or achiness in the shoulder for a couple of days. Some gases may leak into the skin making a crackling sound during rubbing of the skin around the stitches. The recovery time may take 2-4 hours and the very next day a person can continue with their daily schedule, but strenuous activity or exercise should be avoided for a week.
If there are further complications after the surgery, then the doctor should be immediately be informed, they may be:
- Nausea & vomiting
- Shortness of breath, cough, chest pain
- Headache, muscle pain, illness feeling
- Constipation or abdominal swelling
- Unexplained symptoms
- Increase in vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Uncontrollable pain even after medications
- Redness, bleeding, swelling, or discharge from the incision location
- Pain during urination