What is a Laparoscopy?
A Laparoscopy is an
examination of the abdominal contents using a small fiberoptic
telescope. The telescope is inserted into the abdomen through a
tube (about the size of a finger) via a small cut next to the navel.
The telescope is attached to a television screen, which allows us to
visualise the abdominal organs. If operations are to be performed
then, additional smaller tubes are inserted at various places in the
abdomen through which instruments will be inserted to perform the
Laparoscopy is usually a safe procedure but as with all surgical
procedures, there are risks involved. These include
General anaesthetic risks
Pain in abdomen, pelvis or shoulders due to the carbon dioxide gas
causing irritation of the abdominal lining. This is usually
relieved by paracetamol or dispirin.
Damage to nearby structures eg organs or vessels, which may need a
conversion to an open operation to fix it
Gas embolism – the carbon dioxide that is used to inflate the
abdomen for better visualisation may enter the blood stream and
cause complications that are potentially fatal
These are all rare
events but one should be aware of the possibilities and the very rare
need of converting into an open operation.
Prior to Operation
you will be required to fast from midnight or 6 hours pre operative.
You may be advised not to take aspirin, medicines containing aspirin,
garlic, medicine for the heart that thins the blood, large amounts of
vitamins or anti-inflammatory medicines for at least 10 days before
surgery as they may increase the risk of bleeding during the operation.
After the Operation
you will be taken to the recovery room and subsequently transferred to
the ward. You will most likely be able to go home the day after
surgery with pain relief and/or anti-inflammatory tablets. Some
mild pain and soreness may be present for about a week and it will be
necessary to take things easy during this time. If you develop
high fever, chills, vomiting or discharge from your wounds, please
contact the surgery or the emergency department.
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