What is laparoscopy?

This is a surgical procedure preformed under general anaesthetic. The purpose of the procedure is to investigate organs inside the abdomen and pelvis. This is done so with the use of a laparoscope (small tube with a camera), which is inserted through a small incision in the bellybutton. For better visualisation of the internal organs, gas is pumped into the belly; there are also a number of other instruments inserted through separate small incisions to aid with the procedure. There may only be two incisions for diagnostic laparoscopy, and three or more for operative laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy and Gynaecology

Laparoscopic techniques are used in Gynaecology to diagnose and treat causes of pain such as infertility, ovarian cysts or tumors, endometriosis and ectopic pregnancies.

What can I expect after my procedure?

You may experience few days of soreness around incision sites, cramping, bloating, nausea or vomiting and shoulder tip pain. You may also experience vaginal bleeding or discharge caused by the instruments used to move the uterus around during the procedure.

You should not experience heavy or worsening bleeding, smelly vaginal discharge, red and discharging incision sites, increasing bloating, vomiting, worsening of pain and fevers. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.

Full recovery may take up to four weeks, depending on what treatment.

What are the risks of procedure?

  • Cause for pain may not be found (if done for diagnosis of pain)
  • Bruising around incision sites
  • Shoulder tip pain
  • Formation of adhesions
  • Infection
  • Bleeding requiring blood transfusion or return to operating theatre
  • Injury to surrounding organs such as bowel, bladder or ureter
  • Laparotomy (open surgery) if procedure can not be completed with laparoscopy
  • Blood clots (DVT) that may break off and cause pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke

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