Laparoscopy is a minimal invasive surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the abdominal organs or the female pelvic organs. Patients must receive general anesthesia during this procedure. In Laparoscoy, small incisions between 0.5 and 1 cm are made on the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope can be placed. The abdominal cavity is able to be visualized by filling it with an absorbable gas, typically, carbon dioxide. Laparoscopy is used to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids, and infection. Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy through the laparoscope.
Why Laparoscopy is done?
In many cases laparoscopy can be done instead of laparotomy surgery that uses a larger incision in the belly. Laparoscopy can be less stressful and may have less problems and lower costs than laparotomy for minor surgeries. Laparoscopy in obstetrics and gynecology can be used for removing endometriosis, performing hysterectomy (uterus removal) and removing ovarian cysts.
- Total hysterectomy is removal of the entire uterus, including the cervix. Laparoscopic hysterectomy involves removing the entire uterus with minimally-invasive techniques. A normal sized uterus, once it is detached from its supports, can be removed through the vagina. A large uterus can be reduced to smaller pieces using a laparoscopic morcellator.
- Supra-cervical hysterectomy is removal of the upper part of the uterus, but not the cervix.
Benefits to supra-cervical hysterectomy include slightly faster surgery and shorter recovery time.
The only medical reason for removing the cervix is to prevent cancer of the cervix. If a woman is at low risk for this problem, then the cervix may be left in place, as long as she agrees to continue having regular Pap smears performed.
At the hospital laboratory tests on your blood and urine will be done to determine if there are any abnormalities that may be of importance to your surgery. Also you may need imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Imaging tests may also help your caregiver see if your ovaries or nearby organs have health problems like cancer. Do not eat or drink for 12 hours. An empty stomach helps lower the chance of vomiting during or after the surgery. Your caregiver may ask you to drink a special liquid or a powder that is mixed with liquid. This drink is called a bowel preparation and will cause you to empty your bowels. You should remove all jewelry, nail polish, glasses and contact lenses prior to coming to the hospital.
You may have minor pain at the incision sites and in your shoulders and chest (from Carbon Dioxide used to inflate your abdomen). It is possible to develop a sore throat from the airway tube used in your windpipe during your anesthesia. It is normal to have slight vaginal bleeding for a few days after the surgery. You should have someone drive you home from the hospital, and not drive on your surgery day. Avoid exercise or lifting greater than 25 pounds for 7 days. Keep your incisions clean and dry. Any bandage can be removed the following day.