What, Why, When and How Laparoscopic Procedure

What is a Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure used to diagnose or treat various conditions. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions, approximately 1 cm.  That is why laparoscopic surgery is also often referred to as keyhole surgery.

The surgeon then inserts a laparoscope with a camera into the incision. The images captured by the laparoscope will be displayed on a monitor in the operating room where the doctor can perform surgeries or simply examinations.

What, Why, When and How Laparoscopic Procedure
Laparoscopic procedure, photo via kjkhospital.com

Why Laparoscopy is Needed

In making a diagnosis, doctors often use non-invasive methods, such as ultrasound (USG), CT scan, or MRI. But sometimes, the only way to make a diagnosis is to directly observe the symptomatic part of the body using a laparoscope.

Laparoscopy is necessary when:

  • You have severe and chronic pain in your abdomen or pelvis.
  • You have a lump on your stomach
  • You are diagnosed with cancer in the area around the stomach
  • You have menstrual disorders with no clear cause
  • You want to limit pregnancy
  • You're having problems getting pregnant

For people with symptoms of pain in the abdominal area, laparoscopic surgery can be used to diagnose:

  • Tumor/cancer
  • Blockage
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Infection

For women, laparoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat:

  • Fibroids: growths that form in or outside the uterus. Most fibroids are not cancerous.
  • Ovarian cysts: fluid-filled sacs that form on or on the surface of the ovaries.
  • Endometriosis: a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside it.
  • Pelvic prolapse: a condition in which the reproductive organs enter or leave the vagina.
  • Laparoscopy can also be used to:
  • Overcoming an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb)
  • Removing the uterus or hysterectomy, for example, treating uterine cancer
  • Tubal ligation, a contraceptive procedure in the form of blocked fallopian tubes
  • Overcoming incontinence or the inability to hold urine due to various factors

When Is Laparoscopy Performed

Laparoscopy is needed when doctors have difficulty diagnosing a symptom with non-invasive methods.

Other similar imaging techniques can also be used, such as:

  • Ultrasound, using high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body
  • CT scan, a special series of X-rays that take cross-sectional images of the body
  • An MRI scan, using magnets and radio waves to produce images of the body

Laparoscopy is performed if these tests do not provide sufficient information to make a diagnosis. This procedure can also be used to take tissue samples from certain parts of the stomach.

Preparation Before Undergo Laparoscopic Surgery

Patients will be asked to make preparations before undergoing a laparoscopy when this surgery is performed to treat diseases and is not related to pregnancy.

You can tell your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect that you are. Thus, the risk of interference with pregnancy due to laparoscopy can be reduced if there is an allergy.

The patient may need to undergo several tests before the laparoscopy, such as blood tests, urinalysis, electrocardiogram, and chest x-rays. You may also need to undergo non-invasive imaging tests first, from ultrasound to MRI. This series of tests can help the doctor further understand the patient's condition to increase the laparoscopy effectiveness.

Patients generally need to fast for 6-8 hours before laparoscopy. It is recommended that you come to the hospital with a family member or someone who can take you home after the laparoscopy. This is because laparoscopic surgery is often performed under general anesthesia, making the patient feel drowsy, making it dangerous to drive alone.

Laparoscopic Surgical Procedures

Laparoscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that the patient can go home on the same day as the surgery. The main procedures for laparoscopic surgery include:

  • The patient changes into a special surgery gown from the hospital.
  • The patient is given general anesthesia so as not to feel pain during the laparoscopy.
  • The doctor starts the procedure by installing the necessary tools.
  • The doctor makes an incision in the abdominal area.
  • The doctor inserts a laparoscope, and the stomach is pumped with carbon dioxide gas to obtain a clearer image.
  • The image from the laparoscope is displayed on the monitor.
  • Depending on the need, the doctor can make other small incisions to perform the surgery.
  • After the operation, gas is removed from the stomach, and the incision is sutured.

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