What is a Laparoscopy?
A laparoscopy is a procedure that allows Dr. Hardy to see inside the abdomen and look at the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestines, bladder, etc. The procedure is performed with a laparoscope, a small lighted telescope.
Why would I need this procedure?
There are several reasons to have a laparoscopy and they are:
- Evaluation and treatment of infertility in women
- Evaluation of known or suspected endometriosis
- Complications from pelvic disease
- Masses or cysts in the pelvis
- Undiagnosed pelvic pain
- Fibroid tumors of the uterus
- Voluntary sterilization or tying of the tubes
- For diagnosis and treatment of a variety of abdominal disorders
What happens during the procedure?
A laparoscopy is performed as an outpatient surgery. You will be given a general anesthetic which will cause you to fall asleep. An airway tube may be placed in your windpipe. Dr. Hardy will make a small incision in the belly button and inflate the abdomen with carbon dioxide. He will tilt the operating table to allow the intestines to lift up and the carbon dioxide floats up toward the chest. The laparoscope is inserted and used to see inside the abdomen. Dr. Hardy will also make 3 other small incisions in the lower abdomen. He will then remove or cauterize any endometriosis, remove ovarian cysts or ovaries, perform tubal ligation, remove appendix, remove scar tissue known as adhesions and/or remove uterine fibroids. The laparoscope is then removed and the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape from the abdomen. Small sutures under the skin and an adhesive bandages known as steristrips or bandaids are used to cover the incisions.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You may experience slight discomfort for 24 to 48 hours. You may have pain in your shoulder and chest from the carbon dioxide that was used to inflate the abdomen. Walking and luke warm liquids can help with this pain. You will also be given a prescription for pain medication upon leaving the surgery center. We will give you 2 weeks recovery time off of work. If you can not take the whole 2 weeks, then you should see Dr. Hardy in the office for an appointment to make sure you are well enough to go back to work.
You should change your bandaids daily. You may bathe and shower as usual. You should not place anything in the vagina such as tampons, douching or sex until your postoperative appointment. You may resume driving once you no longer need the prescription pain medication and you don't feel pain in your abdomen.
What are some complications?
Some complications that may occur are:
- Adverse reactions to general anesthesia
- Injury to intra-abdominal organs such as bowel, bladder, liver, blood vessels, uterus, ovaries.
- Allergic reaction to medications given during surgery or after surgery.
- Excessive bleeding
The risk of complications increases with women who are:
- Have heart or lung disease
- Advanced pregnancy
- Previous abdominal surgery especially hernias
- Previous bowel surgery
- Use of drugs such as antihypertensives, antiarrhythmics, diuretics, or beta-adrenergic blockers
When should I call the office?
You should call the office if:
- You start to bleed a lot (like a menstrual period) from the vagina or excessive bleeding from the incision sites
- You develop a fever over 100°F (37.8°C)
- You have a lot of pain or swelling of your lower abdomen
- You have a vaginal discharge with a bad odor