Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a thin telescope inserted through small incisions in your belly to evaluate and possibly treat the organs in your abdomen and pelvis. Commonly we are able to do laparoscopy instead of Laparotomy (large abdominal incision), which allows a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery. Laparoscopy can used to evaluate and treat problems such as cysts, adhesions, tubal pregnancies, fibroids, infertility concerns, and infection. Laparoscopy can also be used to biopsy tissue and organs inside your abdomen and pelvis to aid in the evaluation of your health concerns.

Laparoscopy is used in Gynecology to:

    1. Evaluate for conditions, such as endometriosis, tubal pregnancy, and pelvic infections. 2. Evaluate pain and infertility concerns. 3. Remove tumors and abnormal growths, such as cysts and cancer. 4. Do tubal ligation. 5. Remove uterus, tubes, ovaries and appendix. 6. Biopsy areas of concern.

What do you do to prepare for Laparoscopy?

Pre-Operative appointment (During week before your surgery)

We will review your procedure and its associated risks, benefits and alternatives.

We will have you sign a surgery consent, giving us permission to proceed with your surgery.

We will send you to your preoperative appointment during the week before.

Be sure to arrange transportation home from your surgery, since you will need someone to take you home after.

Be sure to tell us if you:

  • Have allergies to any medicines, including anesthesia.
  • Have any changes to your medical (health) history of surgery.
  • Have any bleeding problems or are taking any blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Have any questions regarding your surgery.
  • Might be pregnant.

The day of your surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the day of your surgery. Only take your medicine you are prescribed. Take the medicine with a small sip of water.
  • Leave your jewelry at home. Any jewelry you wear will need to be taken off before your laparoscopy.
  • Present to the surgery center at the time instructed by your preoperative nurse.
  • Remove your glasses, contacts, and dentures or a removable bridge before your laparoscopy. These will be given back to you as soon as you wake up after the surgery.
  • Just prior to your surgery the nurse will bring you in and have you empty your bladder.
  • A pregnancy test will usually be done.
  • Your Preoperative nurse will have you change into a hospital gown.
  • You will have an IV (intravenous line) placed in your arm.
  • An Anesthesiologist will come talk to you about the anesthesia you will receive during your surgery.
  • Your Doctor will come talk to you before you go back for your surgery. If you have any last minute questions you can ask them at this time.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the laparoscopy.

Follow all the instructions given to you at your pre-operative appointment.

    1. You will be put under general anesthesia and a tube will be placed in your airway to assist your breathing. 2. A catheter will be placed in your bladder to empty it. It will usually be removed before you awaken. 3. Your belly surface will be cleaned for surgery. Just prior to this, some of your pubic hair may be shaved. 4. Sterile drapes will be placed on you to help keep the area of your surgery sterile.

During your laparoscopy, a small incision is made in your abdomen, usually in the area of your belly button. More than one incision may be made if other tools will be used during the surgery. Your abdomen is then filled with gas (Carbon dioxide, which your body can easily absorb). The gas lifts the abdominal wall away from the organs inside so your doctor can see them. Small tubes (trocars) are placed the incisions in your belly.

A thin, lighted telescope (laparoscope) is then put through the trocars to look at your organs. Other tools are then placed through the trocars to perform what is needed to complete your surgery.

After your surgery is completed, the instruments will be removed and the gas will be released. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

Laparoscopy takes about 30 to 90 minutes, depending on what is done, but may take longer depending on what is found and needs to be treated. After the laparoscopy, you will go to the recovery room for 1-4 hours. You can usually do your normal activities the next day, but do not do any strenuous activity or exercise for about a week.

You may be tired and have some pain for a few days after a laparoscopy. You may have a mild sore throat from the tube in your throat to help you breathe. Use throat lozenges and gargle with warm salt water to help your sore throat.

There is a small chance for problems from a laparoscopy. Complications include:

    1. Bleeding 2. Infection 3. Injury to internal organs, such as bowel, bladder, blood vessels and nerves. 4. No improvement or worsening of symptoms. 5. Internal scarring (adhesions)

What can I expect after my laparoscopy?

Right after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where nurses will care for and watch your vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level, and heart rate). You will stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and then you will go home. Your nurse will explain any special instructions from your doctor.

You may have some bloating. There may be bruising around the incisions for a few days. You may have some pain around the incisions. Do not drink carbonated beverages for 1 to 2 days after the laparoscopy to lower your chance of gas pains and vomiting.

The gas used during the laparoscopy can irritate your diaphragm for a few days. You may have some pain or achiness in your shoulder for a couple of days after the laparoscopy.

Call us (509) 628-8866 immediately, or go to the emergency room if you have:

  • A large area of redness or swelling around the incisions.
  • Bleeding or drainage from the stitches.
  • Fever (termperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Severe belly pain.
  • Or any other concerns.