This minimally invasive surgery is performed both for treatment and diagnostic purposes. The operation uses a special instrument – laparoscope.
This type of surgery has a number of priorities over open surgery:
- Faster and easier rehab after laparoscopy;
- Reduced injury rate and a lower risk of postoperative complications;
- Minimal risk of infections;
- Scars from laparoscopy either completely disappear or are barely noticeable.
Laparoscopic surgery often replaces open surgery. This operation can be indicated for various gynecological pathologies (cysts, ectopic pregnancy, adhesions, fallopian tube obstruction), disorders of the organs of the abdominal cavity (appendicitis, hernias, liver dysfunctions, stomach and pancreas disorders). Laparoscopy is also indicated for detecting and suppressing hemorrhage of different genesis.
How is laparoscopic surgery performed?
Operative intervention is made under general anesthesia and only by a surgeon.
Stages of performing operation:
- A surgeon makes small incisions of around 20 mm. Usually, there are four incisions bu the number may vary depending on the operation.
- A surgeon uses a blunt-pointed probe (to avoid damages of the neighboring organs) and moves closer to the affected organ.
- Then a surgeon inserts special tubes through which instruments will be inserted.
- An essential part of laparoscopic surgery is pumping carbon dioxide gas to inflate the abdomen so that a surgeon could more clearly see the organs.
- A laparoscopy camera is inserted as well and the images are shown on a television monitor. A surgeon carries out a treatment, observing his movements on the monitor and it requires certain skills.
- When the pathology is eliminated, all the devices, instruments and tubes are removed and the incisions are closed using stitches. There are no visible scars after laparoscopy almost in each case.
As laparoscopy is performed under general anesthesia, there are several rules for a patient to observe:
- It is prohibited to eat and drink for 8 hours before the operation;
- A patient is clysterized shortly before the operation (not necessarily and depends on the operation);
- The area where the surgery will be performed must be shaved.
Recovery after laparoscopy
Rehab after laparoscopy is much faster and easier than after open surgery.
What you should know about a recovery process:
- Hospitalization after laparoscopy lasts for one day and can be prolonged if there are some complications. To discharge a patient, ultrasound is performed.
- If a patient complains about pain after laparoscopic ovary or other organ removal, analgesics are prescribed. Discomfort is caused by the healing of postoperative wounds and is not considered a complication. A pain in the abdomen can occur after laparoscopy which will remain for some days, so it is recommended to avoid physical loads.
- For half a month after laparoscopy, a diet should exclude heavy foods and it is strictly prohibited to drink alcohol.
- A patient should be careful with hygienic procedures, it is allowed to take a shower but not a bath. Do not rub wounds with a bath sponge.
- If you do not know how to care for your incisions after laparoscopy: for 10 days after the operation, you should apply brilliant green or manganese solution.
- Avoid wearing too tight clothes until postoperative wound will heal, otherwise it will bring pressure to the wound.
- The first period after laparoscopic ovary removal will be painful with copious discharge which is the norm.
Complications after laparoscopic surgery
Complications after laparoscopy occur very rarely. Statistically, only 1% of patients feel something wrong after the operation.
- Injuries of the organs. Specific laparoscopic complications are perforation or injury of the organs as a result of inserting the probe. It occurs because probes are inserted in a blind manner, however if a surgeon follows all the rules for performing the operation, such a complication never occurs.
- Thrombi. They occur only in case there are predisposing factors such as obesity, old age, atherosclerotic vascular diseases, ischemia and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system. In order to prevent this complication, doctors apply elastic bandages on patient’s legs. Blood thinners can also be indicated.
- Acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases occur if a patient has such a pathology in his or her medical history. This complication is a result of inflating the abdomen with gas, so a surgeon makes the pressure as minimal as possible to prevent the occurrence of complications.
- Subcutaneous emphysema appears in many cases after laparoscopy but it is not dangerous for a patient and disappears without any additional measures.
- Bloody discharge after laparoscopy is a sign of hemorrhage caused by inadequate vessel coagulation. This is a very rare complication but it is easy to eliminate. It is important to detect it in time, so a patient should be attentive to his health in the first days after the operation.
- Burns and necrosis. Healthy tissues can be affected in the result of a medical error or instrument malfunction which may lead to burns. The burns can further heal or develop into necrosis and, finally, it will lead to peritonitis. A surgeon must be aware of this complication and be very attentive and careful so that not to affect surrounding tissues and organs.
- Infection and further pus formation. It can be caused by non-sterile instruments and surgical conditions during, for example, appendix removal. Infection can be a result of decreased body resistance (immunodeficiencies, diabetes etc.).
Sometimes, complications appear only after a patient left the hospital, so it is necessary to be attentive to the following serious symptoms:
- Fever of a vague genesis lasting for over a day;
- Nausea and vomiting for no apparent reason;
- Unbearable pain in the lower abdomen after laparoscopy;
- Redness and swelling around the wounds;
- Any impairment of consciousness.
If you noticed any of these symptoms, you should seek for immediate medical assistance.
Sex after laparoscopic surgery
Usually, patients can have sexual intercourses after the operation in 1-2 weeks of rehab. However, it depends on the type of operation. If it was a genital system surgery, abstinence from sex can last for 1-2 months. Each case should be individually discussed with a surgeon or a gynecologist.
When can a woman get pregnant ater laparoscopy?
This question worries girls and women who have undergone the surgery to treat infertility. The likelihood of getting pregnant depends on the causes of infertility, on whether the surgery was performed properly and in time.
Frequently, after the surgery, medication treatment is indicated with the use of hormonal drugs.
Thinking about pregnancy after laparoscopy, women should take into account that hormonal medications can have an impact on a baby’s development.
Usually, a woman can start planning her pregnancy in several months after the operation but it is better to consult a gynecologist. A woman should be aware that some medications are clear from the body for a long time. That is why a pregnancy should be planned when a woman is healthy and her body is not affected by a negative impact of medications.