What is laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a technique which allows operations within abdomen to be performed without need for a large skin incision. It issometimes called a key hole surgery or minimally invasive surgery or microsurgery.
What are the benefits of laparoscopic surgery?
Advantages of laparoscopic surgery compared to traditional ‘open’ surgery are :
- Much less postoperative pain
- Quicker recovery, shorter hospital stay,
- Less risk of infection, bleeding
- Much quicker return to work
- Much smaller scar
What are the indications of gynaecological laparoscopic surgery?
Gynaecological causes of laparoscopy are :
- Diagnostic laparoscopy – to find out cause of infertility or abdominal pain
- Treatment of endometriosis
- Removal of ovary, ovarian cyst, tumour
- Sterilization ( ligation ) to avoid pregnancy
- Division of intraabdominal adhesion
- To treat ectopic pregnancy
- Removal of uterine fibroid (myomectomy)
- Removal of uterus – laparoscopic hysterectomy
How is it performed?
Once the patient is put under general anaesthesia, abdomen is inflated with gas for better visibility. Surgeon can get a view of interior of abdomen in a TV monitor. Depending the type of surgery, surgeon may need to make 1- 3 tiny incisions in abdomen for specialized surgical instruments. At the end of the procedure, gas is released, checked and cuts are stitched.
What are the risks of laparoscopic surgery?
Vast majority of operations are straight forward and chance of complication is not different from open surgery. Like any other surgical procedure, there is a small risk of side effects :
- Injury to intestine, blood vessels, ureter etc.
- Risk of anaesthesia, allergic reaction etc.
- Infection at stitch site requiring antibiotic
Actual risk of serious complication is very small (approximately 2 in 1000). As every case is different, your doctor can advise you regarding probability of risk in your case.
Rarely, surgeon may need to convert a laparoscopic surgery into an open procedure to complete procedure safely in the good interest of the patient.
What happens after surgery?
Once the procedure is complete, you will be brought back to your senses, but you may feel slightly drowsy for next 1-2 hours. Abdomen may feel mildly bruised. Water and liquid diets are allowed after 3 hours and patients are encouraged to go to toilet. Majority of patients are fit to go home on the same day, others are discharged on the next day. One can resume activities after 1-2 weeks.