Laparoscopy is a procedure to look inside your abdomen by using a laparoscope. A laparoscope is like a thin telescope with a light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside the abdomen. A laparoscope is passed into the abdomen through a small incision (cut) in the skin. A camera is attached to the end of the telescope and the image is viewed on a video monitor. Surgery is carried out while looking at this monitor.
A laparoscopy may be done to find the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or swelling of the abdomen or pelvic region. Or, it may be done if a previous test such as an x-ray or scan has identified a problem within the abdomen or pelvis. A laparoscopy enables a doctor to see clearly inside your abdomen. Some common conditions which can be seen by laparoscopy include:
A complete pre operative evaluation is carried out to determine whether the patient is fit to undergo the procedure. Depending on the Pathology and Proposed surgery Investigations from following list are carried out.
Certain specific conditions may require few additional investigations such as Tumour Markers, CT scan, MRI etc. The patient is also seen by a physician before the procedure. An admission slip with pre operative admission instructions is given to the patient. You are kept on a liquid diet for a day prior to surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning before the procedure.
You’ll see the anaesthesiologist before surgery who’ll answer your questions about anesthesia.
Before the surgery, an intravenous line, which consists of a small flexible plastic tube, will be inserted into a vein in the patient’s arm or hand. It is used to give medications and fluids during the operation. Sometimes intravenous medication is administered before surgery to help the patient relax.
The effects of general anaesthesia make most people feel groggy at first, but they quickly become more alert. Some people experience nausea for a short time after awakening from a general anesthesia. Some major laparoscopic procedures require hospital stay of a day or two.
Complications after laparoscopic surgery are rare. Most people recover quickly and resume their normal activities without problems. However, the procedure is not without any risks. The risk of infection or other problems exists as with any kind of surgery. You can discuss this with the doctor before undergoing the procedure.
There may be some soreness near the incisions, especially when twisting or stretching the body. If a breathing tube was used for the surgery, patients may have a mild sore throat. There may be discomfort in the abdomen, upper chest, shoulders, and neck area due to the carbon dioxide used to inflate the abdomen, but this disappears quickly. You may notice a change in bowel habits for a few days. You should avoid any heavy strenuous activity, but are allowed to do all routine activity once you are discharged. You are usually advised to come back for a follow up visit a week after the procedure.
You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days to recover from the surgery and for observation. You are started on liquid diet 4 – 6 hours after surgery and gradually shifted to soft and then full diet in the next day or two depending on the type of surgery and speed of recovery.
You should avoid any heavy strenuous activity, but are allowed to do all routine activities once you are discharged. You are usually advised to come back for a follow up visit a week after the procedure.
Recovery time depends on the kind of procedure, the patient’s age, and health before the procedure. The following is a normal timetable for recovery from minimally invasive surgery on the abdomen: Any pain in the shoulders or neck area usually goes away after a few days. Soreness in the incisions disappears within a few days and the incisions heal after about five days. The bloated feeling after abdominal or pelvic laparoscopy goes away within a few days.
Depending on the procedure most people feel well enough to return to work or normal daily activities three to five days after laparoscopy, although some people may need a week or more of rest.