What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopy is a diagnostic surgical procedure that doctors use to examine abdominal organs. It is a minimally invasive and low-risk procedure that requires very small incisions. The procedure involves the use of an instrument known as a laparoscope to examine the organs.

A laparoscope is a thin, long tube that has a high-resolution camera and a high-intensity light. The surgeon inserts the instrument through an incision made in the abdomen. As the tube moves, the camera transmits images onto a monitor. This allows the doctor to see inside the body without open surgery.


When Laparoscopy Is Used

The ability to see inside the body in real-time is a good reason to use laparoscopy. The procedure can identify and diagnose the source of abdominal or pelvic pain. Laparoscopy is usually used when other non-invasive procedures fail to diagnose the issue. 

These other diagnostic techniques include ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI scan. A laparoscopy will often be performed when the other tests fail to provide adequate information for a proper diagnosis. The doctor can use the procedure to obtain biopsy tissue or samples. 


Organs Examined Using a Laparoscope

The doctor can recommend a laparoscopy to observe or examine different organs. These include the stomach, liver, spleen, appendix, pancreas, intestine, gallbladder, and pelvic or reproductive organs. 

Using a laparoscope to observe the organs can help in detecting different issues. The issues include a tumor or abdominal mass, liver disease, and fluid in the abdomen. Laparoscopy can help determine the effectiveness of particular treatments. It can find out how particular cancer may have progressed.  


Risks of Laparoscopy

Some risks associated with laparoscopy include infection, bleeding, and damage to organs in the abdomen. The risks are rare, but you should contact the doctor if symptoms persist after the procedure. Symptoms to look out for are chills or fevers, abdominal pain, and redness or swelling at the site of the incision. 

Other signs are vomiting or nausea, persistent cough, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and the inability to urinate. A few patients experience complications from anesthesia, inflammation, and blood clots. 


Preparing for Laparoscopy

You should inform the doctor about any medication that you may be taking before the procedure. The doctor will tell you how to take the medication before and after the procedure. The doctor may need to change the dosage of any medication that can affect the results of the laparoscopy. 

You should inform the doctor if you are pregnant to reduce the risk of harming the baby. The doctor may require several tests, including a blood test and electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Other tests include a urinalysis, a chest X-ray, and certain imaging tests.


The Laparoscopy Procedure

After carrying out the necessary tests, the doctor will have a better understanding of the abnormality to be examined. You may need to avoid food and drinks for eight hours before the procedure. A laparoscopy is performed under general anesthesia, usually via an outpatient procedure. It can be performed in a hospital or a surgical center. 

If your doctor suspects you have a certain medical condition, he/she may recommend a laparoscopy. 

To know more about laparoscopic surgery, visit Partners in Obstetrics & Women's Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois. You can call (815) 240-0554 today to book an appointment.

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