Laparoscopy or diagnostic laparoscopy is a specialized surgical procedure for viewing the organs inside the abdomen.
Laparoscopy uses a small camera to see the organs inside the patient’s abdomen. A laparoscope is an instrument that has a long, thin tube with a high-resolution camera at the front. A small incision is made on the abdomen wall and this instrument is inserted through it. The images from the camera to sent to a video monitor.
Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside the abdomen in real-time, without open surgery, it just requires a tiny hole instead. The surgeon can even collect biopsy samples during the procedure.
So, it’s a minimally invasive procedure that that hurts less, recovery is faster and have a better success rate.
So here are top 10 Questions People have about Laparoscopic Surgeries
1. Why Laparoscopic surgery is done?
Laparoscopy helps surgeons to diagnose and even treat some of the problems in the abdominal organs without performing open surgery. It can help identify the cause of bleeding or the source of pelvic or abdominal pain, it can find the reason for the trouble related to pregnancy.
Here are some scenarios when Diagnostic Laparoscopy is performed: Abdominal pain, Abdominal mass, Ascites, Liver disease, even “Second look” procedure or cancer staging.
In many cases, abdominal problems can also be diagnosed with imaging techniques such as ultrasound, or CT scan, or MRI scan.
Laparoscopy Diagnostics is performed when these tests don’t provide enough information or insight for a diagnosis.
2. How many types of laparoscopy are there? Or, what surgeries can be done laparoscopically?
There are a number of different types of operations that can be performed laparoscopically. Some of those are laparoscopic cholecystectomy (for removal of the gallbladder), laparoscopic hernia repair, laparoscopic splenectomy (for removal of the spleen), laparoscopic hepatectomy (removal of part of the liver) or laparoscopic pancreatectomy (for removal of part of the pancreas).
3. How is Laparoscopic Surgery Done?
During laparoscopy surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision of around 0.4 to 0.6 inches, usually around your belly button.
A tube is inserted in your abdomen through the incision, and carbon dioxide gas is pumped to inflate your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to see your abdominal organs clearly and makes more room to work. Then the laparoscope is inserted through the tube. The laparoscope sends images of the inside of your tummy which is viewed on a TV screen in realtime.
If the laparoscopy is done to perform some surgical treatment some more incisions are made to insert some small surgical instruments inside. The surgeon will guide these instruments using the view from the laparoscope on the TV screen.
After the procedure, the carbon dioxide gas is removed, the incisions are stitched or clipped and dressing is applied.
4. How long does a laparoscopic surgery take?
When the laparoscopy is performed to diagnose a condition, the procedure generally takes about 30-60 minutes. But it takes much longer if Laparoscopy is done to treat a condition, depending on the type of surgery is being performed.
5. Is laparoscopic surgery painful?
You may feel little pain and discomfort for a few days following the procedure. But it will improve fast. Your doctor may prescribe you some medication to relieve the pain. It’s expected to have shoulder pain after your procedure. Overall the pain is a lot less and recovery is very fast when compared t open surgery.
6. Is laparoscopic surgery safe?
Laparoscopy is quite commonly performed the procedure and serious complications are rare.
But any intestinal surgery is associated with certain risks. Complications related to anaesthesia and bleeding or infectious complications are among the common risks. Laparoscopy is not completely free from those.
As Laparoscopy requires very small incisions, they heal faster, a lot fewer chances of infection. In many cases, Laparoscopic surgery is even safer than traditional open surgery.
7. Which is better laparoscopy or open surgery?
Compared to traditional open surgery, with Laparoscopic patients often experience less pain, a shorter recovery time, same-day release from the hospital and less scarring with laparoscopic surgery.
You can read a bit more about the same in this article: Laparoscopic Surgery VS Traditional Open Surgery
8. How long does it take to recover from laparoscopic surgery?
The time it takes to recover from a Laparoscopy is different from people to people. It depends on so many things, like the purpose of the procedure.
If the Laparoscopy is done only for Diagnostic purposes, one can resume regular activities within 5 days. But if it is done for some small surgery like appendix removal, it may take about 3 weeks. If the procedure is performed for removal of your ovaries or kidney, to treat cancer it may take a longer time, 10 to 12 weeks.
Usually, in the case of Laparoscopic Surgery, the recovery time is a lot less when compared to Traditional Open Surgery, because of small incisions. But surely the reason for the surgery matters a lot. Kidney removal will take a long time as it takes to recover, a surgical procedure can not influence the recovery time much.
9. When can I drive after laparoscopy?
You are not advised to drive a car for 48 hours after your laparoscopy, because the anaesthesia used for the procedure causes drowsiness. After that, you are free to drive a car, but it also depends on why the procedure is performed. So, if you had major surgery, then it may take much longer to recover enough to drive a car for a long time.
10. When will I need to see my doctor again?
You will require to see your doctor about 2-6 weeks after the procedure. The Surgeon will make sure you are healing well and not facing any complication. If you sense anything unlikely, don’t hesitate to call your doc.
So here is our list 10 most popular questions about laparoscopic surgeries answered.
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Mention the questions in the comment below, we will be happy to answer all of them for you.