Laparoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery is also more commonly known as “key-hole” surgery. Keyhole because only small incision(s) are made on the skin.
During laparoscopic surgery, a telescope is inserted into the body to provide us with a vision. In gynaecology surgery, this is commonly the view of the abdomen from the inside. We would be able to have direct vision of the uterus, tubes, ovaries and basically, almost everywhere inside the abdomen. This would then allow us to diagnose and often, treat any disease that is present.
Benefits of Laparoscopic surgery
· Reduced pain as the surgical cuts are smaller
· Shorter hospital stay (usually home on same day, or between 1-3 days depending on surgery)
· Smaller scar as smaller surgical cuts
· Quicker recovery and most patients would be able to recover in the comfort of their own homes.
When is a laparoscopy performed
It can be performed as part of working out a diagnosis such as :
o Ovarian cyst
It can also be performed as part of treatment for conditions such as :
o Endometriosis – removal/ablation
o Removal of ovary or ovarian cyst
o Sterilization – “clipping of tubes” or removal of tubes
o Treatment of fallopian tube disease (i.e. abscess)
o Hysterectomy – heavy periods or fibroids
o Treatment of prolapse
What to expect
A laparoscopy is commonly performed under general anaesthesia, meaning you would be asleep during the procedure. The procedure can take anywhere between 45 minutes to a few hours, depending on the case. In order to have a good look in your tummy, we use gas to inflate your abdomen so it is common to feel bloated after the procedure.
After the procedure is completed, it is not commonly to feel drowsy or sleepy from the anaesthetics. Some might have feelings of nausea and vomiting but they usually get better over a few hours. Depending on the procedure performed, you may have mild or moderate discomfort and would usually be prescribed some pain relief. You may also experience bloating and some shoulder tip pain due to the gas we used for the procedure. If you had a hysteroscopy or curette or hysterectomy, some vaginal bleeding would also be expected.
Risk with the procedure
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with laparoscopy. The rate of any laparoscopic surgery is less then 1%, with the rate of major complications to be less then 0.5%. Some of the risk associated with laparoscopy are:
· Bowel, bladder or other organ injury
· Clots in your legs or lungs
· Hernia at incision sites
· Laparotomy (convert to open surgery)
If you would like more information or to make an appointment, please give our rooms a call at 02 9629 3559.
Dr Adeline Chan's consulting rooms are conveniently located within Norwest Private Hospital in Bella Vista.