What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic Surgery is a surgical diagnostic procedure done to examine the organs inside the abdomen. This process takes its name from the laparoscope which is a slender tool with a tiny high resolution camera and light on the end. The laparoscope is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall and as it moves along, the camera attached to it sends images to a video monitor. This procedure helps the doctors to look inside your body in real-time without performing open surgery. With the help of this procedure, the doctor can also obtain biopsy samples.
Why is a Laparoscopy Surgery performed?
Laparoscopic surgery is used to identify as well as diagnose the source of abdominal or pelvic pain. It is usually performed when non-invasive methods are unable to help with diagnosis. Some other ways to diagnose abdominal problems include imaging techniques such as Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI scan.
When these tests do not provide enough information for a diagnosis, laparoscopic surgery is performed. It is used to examine organs such as the appendix, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, small and large intestine, stomach, spleen, and pelvic or reproductive organs.
Laparoscopic surgery is used to detect medical problems such as abdominal mass or tumor, fluid in the abdominal cavity, liver disease, effectiveness of treatments, and also how much particular cancer has progressed.
What are the benefits of Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery comes with several advantages as compared with traditional surgery.
- Less cutting and smaller scars.
- Less pain and quicker recovery
- Less internal scarring
Traditional surgery requires the patient to spend at least a week or more in the hospital. The recovery period also takes up to 8 weeks whereas in the case of Laparoscopic Surgery, you may need to stay up to 2 days in the hospital and recovery periods lasts up to 2 to 3 weeks.
How is Laparoscopic Surgery performed?
Laparoscopic Surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure usually. An outpatient procedure means that you’ll be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.
For this surgery, you will be given general anesthesia. This will make your sleep through the procedure so that you don’t experience any pain. Anesthesia is achieved when an intravenous line is inserted in one of your veins. Local anesthesia may also be used that numbs the area so you don’t experience any pain however you will be awake throughout the surgery.
For this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision below your belly button and insert a small tube called a cannula. The cannula will help to inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. This gas will allow the doctor to see your abdominal organs more clearly.
Once the abdomen is inflated, the doctor will insert the laparoscope through the incision and the camera attached to it will display images of your organs on a screen in real-time. The size and number of incisions will depend on the disease the doctor is attempting to confirm. Through the incision made, a biopsy can also be done by taking a small sample of tissue from an organ for evaluation.
Once the procedure is done, the instruments are removed and the incisions are closed with stitches or surgical tables.
How much time does it take to recover from Laparoscopic Surgery?
After the surgery is done, you will be observed for a few hours and monitored for your vital signs such as breathing rate and heart rate before you are discharged from the hospital. You will also be checked for any adverse reactions to the procedure and prolonged bleeding.
Your release from the hospital will depend on your overall physical condition, the type of anesthesia used, and your body’s reaction to the surgery. You may also need to stay in the hospital overnight.
You are likely to experience moderate pain in the areas with the incision. You may also be prescribed medicines to relieve the pain. Pain in the shoulders is very common post laparoscopic surgery. This is due to the use of carbon dioxide used to inflate your abdomen. The gas can irritate the diaphragm which shares nerves with the shoulder. You may also experience bloating. However, the discomfort should go away in a few days.
You should be able to resume all normal activities in a week. Follow up appointments will the doctor will continue for about two weeks after the surgery.