What to Expect: Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopy is a minimally surgical procedure where the surgeon can access the inside of your abdomen or pelvis without making large incisions. Also known as ‘keyhole surgery’, laparoscopic surgery relies on a laparoscope, which is a small tube with a camera and a light source to relay images from your abdomen to a monitor. There are many advantages to this surgical procedure, including minimal downtime for shorter hospital stay, faster recovery times, minimal scarring, and less bleeding and pain after surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery may be widely used for surgical procedures (i.e. removing tissue samples for biopsy or removal of diseased or damaged organs), but laparoscopy in general can be used for diagnosing conditions that may develop within your pelvis or abdomen, too. Hence, it is commonly applied in fields like gynecology, urology, and gastroenterology. The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia, so patients should not feel anything. It will involve the surgeon making one or multiple incisions in the abdomen where the laparoscope will be inserted along with small surgical tools, and a tube for pumping gas into the abdomen. This way, the surgeon can easily look around and conduct the procedure properly.
Preparation for laparoscopic surgery will depend on the type of procedure to be conducted, but most patients will be asked to fast for six to 12 hours prior to surgery. Likewise, patients should stop taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medications a few days before the procedure to prevent excessive bleeding. Patients will have to stop smoking, too, as it can delay healing and increase the risk of getting an infection. Most patients can go home after the procedure or on the following day, but they should be accompanied by someone, as it might be difficult to drive, climb stairs, or bend for a few days.
Patients need not be concerned with serious complications after laparoscopic surgery, as the procedure is commonly performed and risks like minor bleeding, bruising, infections, and feelings of sickness are rare. Likewise, serious complications such as damage to other internal organs, allergic reactions, and blood clots are rare. The safety and success of the surgery will depend on the skill and expertise of the surgeon, too. Hence, patients are advised to choose only a reputable, licensed, and experienced laparoscopic surgeon to conduct the procedure.