Frequently Asked Questions
Preparation depends on the type of surgery. You may need imaging tests. Your doctor might order fasting or an enema.
Tell your doctor about any medication you take. This includes over-the-counter drugs and supplements. You may need to stop them before the procedure.
Plan to have someone drive you home after surgery. A friend can pick you up or you can schedule a car service. You will not be allowed to drive yourself.
Laparoscopy is almost always performed under general anesthesia. This means you will be unconscious for the procedure. However, you may still be able to go home the same day.
Once you are asleep, a small tube called a catheter will be inserted. This collects your urine. Then your abdomen will be filled with carbon dioxide gas. This is done with a small needle. The gas keeps the abdominal wall away from your organs. It reduces the risk of injury.
The surgeon will make a small cut in your navel. The laparoscope will be inserted. It transmits images to a screen. This gives your doctor a clear view of your organs.
What happens next depends on the type of procedure. For diagnosis, your doctor might take a look and then be done. If you need surgery, other incisions will be made. Instruments will be inserted through these holes. Then surgery is performed using the laparoscope as a guide.
Once the procedure is over, all instruments are removed. Incisions are closed with stitches. Then you will be bandaged and sent to recovery.
Laparoscopy can be used for diagnosis, treatment, or both. A diagnostic procedure can turn into treatment.
Some reasons for diagnostic laparoscopy are:
- unexplained pelvic pain
- unexplained infertility
- history of pelvic infection
Conditions that might be diagnosed include:
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts or tumors
- ectopic pregnancy
- pelvic abscess (pus)
- pelvic adhesions (painful scar tissue)
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- reproductive cancers
Some types of laparoscopic treatment include:
- hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- removal of the ovaries
- removal of ovarian cysts
- removal of fibroids
- endometrial tissue ablation (endometriosis treatment)
- adhesion removal
- reversal of tubal ligation (contraceptive surgery)
- burch procedure for incontinence
- vault suspension to treat prolapse
- serious abdominal pain
- prolonged nausea and vomiting
- fever of 101 degrees F or higher
- pus or significant bleeding at your incision
- pain during urination or bowel movements
- damage to the abdominal blood vessel, bladder, bowel, uterus, and other pelvic structures
- nerve damage
- allergic reactions
- blood clots
- problems urinating
- previous abdominal surgery
- being very thin
- extreme endometriosis
- pelvic infection
- chronic bowel disease
Fibroids are round muscle growths that develop within a woman's uterus, also known as the womb, which is a pear-shaped organ located between the bladder and rectum.
Fibroids are almost always benign, meaning that they are non-cancerous. Fibroids vary in size, ranging from as small as a pea to as large as a melon. They are also called leiomyomas or myomas.