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What is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a surgical method that allows your surgeon to examine the organs inside your abdominal and pelvic region. It is a minimally invasive procedure that has minimal incisions or cuts, shorter hospital stays, and smaller scars and helps in faster recovery.
Benefits of Laparoscopy
- Shorter hospital stay.
- Fewer internal scars.
- Smaller external scars.
- Scars heal faster.
- Less pain.
- Quicker return to activities.
Who needs Laparoscopic procedure
Who Needs Laparoscopy?
Your gynaecologist (a doctor specialising in the reproductive health of women) or surgeon may suggest laparoscopy when an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound scan , magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, or physical examination does not give clear results.
Why Is Laparoscopy Done?
Laparoscopy is done to check the following in the abdomen:
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Blockages in the fallopian tubes
- Unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain
- Painful swelling in the appendix (a small pouch that is connected to your intestine)
- Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that develops exterior to the womb)
- Fallopian tubes
- Cysts in the ovary
- Fibroids (non-cancerous tumours of the uterus)
- Infections including bacterial infection of the upper genital tract in females
- A condition where men are born without one or both testicles in the scrotum
- Cancer in the gallbladder, bile duct, liver, pancreas, or ovary
- Other than checking the abdominal or pelvic organs, laparoscopy is also used to:
- Remove gallbladder, a section of intestine, swollen appendix, or fibroids
- Repair hernia or bleeding or burst ulcers in the stomach
- Do biopsy (a process to remove a small sample of tissue for testing)
- Remove a part of or entire organ such as the colon, liver, kidney, bladder, prostate, or ovaries that are affected by cancer
- Treat endometriosis (a condition where a tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus)
- Tie fallopian tubes to prevent future pregnancies
- Treat ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus)
- Check problems associated with the urinary system
- For performing laparoscopy, the surgeon uses an instrument called a laparoscope. A laparoscope consists of a small tube with a camera and light source that helps observe images within your abdomen or pelvis. The surgeon observes these images on a television monitor.
- After you are anaesthetised, the surgeon will perform laparoscopy in the following steps:
- Make a small cut (1-1.5 cm) just below your belly button and a few more cuts at your pubic hairline to use other surgical tools (if laparoscopy is performed to treat any condition).
- Insert a tube and pump carbon dioxide inside your abdomen. Carbon dioxide will swell up your abdominal area and make it easy for the surgeon to observe your internal body parts.
- Insert a laparoscope through the tube and observe the internal body parts with the help of images relayed by the laparoscope on the television.
- Remove the laparoscope, carbon dioxide, and other surgical tools.
- Close the surgery site using stitches, clips, surgical staples, or tape.
- Apply a sterile bandage, adhesive strips, or dressing.
- If laparoscopy is performed only to observe your internal body parts and diagnose a condition, the procedure will be completed in 30-60 minutes. However, if laparoscopy is performed to remove an organ or treat any conditions, the surgery time will be longer.
What to Expect Before Surgery?
- Ask you to stop consuming medications that cause blood thinning to prevent too much bleeding during surgery[3,12]
- Suggest using an oral laxative (stool softener) so that your bowels are empty during the surgery
- Ask you to stomoking as it delays healing after surgery and increases complications (e.g., infection)
- Ask you to remove the piercing near your belly button (if any)
- Ask you to wear loose-fitting clothes and low-heeled shoes on the day of surgery
- For laparoscopy, your anaesthesiologist will suggest general anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is a medication that makes you unconscious during the surgery so that you do not feel any pain.
What to Expect on the Day of Surgery?
- On the day of your laparoscopy surgery, you will meet someone from the healthcare team who:
- May administer an enema in your large intestine and rectum that will help to clean your bowels before the surgery
- May give you an antibiotic medication
- Carbon dioxide gas will be inserted into the abdomen to swell it up and make it easier for the surgeon to see organs and other structures.[3,12]
What to Expect During Surgery?
- The healthcare staff will insert a tube called a urinary catheter that will remove your urine.
- Position during Surgery:
- For laparoscopy, you will be kept in a slightly tilted position where your head will be at a lower angle than your feet.
- Cleaning and draping:
- A sterile or antiseptic solution will be used to clean your surgical site 
- Other than your surgical site, the rest of your body will be draped to reduce the risk of infection.
- While under anaesthesia, your anaesthesiologist will constantly check your breathing, amount of oxygen in your blood, heart rate, and blood pressure.