Laparoscopic surgery uses a viewing tool called a laparoscope.
While the patient is deep asleep and pain-free under general anesthesia, the doctor makes a half-inch surgical cut in the skin below the belly button. Carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the abdomen to help the doctor see the organs more easily.
The laparoscope, an instrument that looks like a small telescope with a light and a video camera, is inserted so the doctor can view the area.
Other instruments may be inserted through other small cuts in the lower abdomen.
While watching a video monitor, the doctor is able to:
- Get tissue samples (biopsy)
- Look for the cause of any symptoms
- Remove scar tissue or other abnormal tissue, such as from endometriosis
- Repair or remove part or all of the ovaries or uterine tubes
- Repair or remove parts of the uterus
- Do other surgical procedures (such as appendectomy, removing lymph nodes)
After the laparoscopy, the carbon dioxide gas is released, and the cuts are closed.
Laparoscopy uses a smaller surgical cut than open surgery. This means your hospital stay is likely to be shorter and your recovery faster. There is less blood loss with laparoscopic surgery and less pain after surgery.
Pelvic laparoscopy is used both for diagnosis and treatment.
The gas pumped into the abdomen may cause abdominal discomfort for 1 – 2 days after the procedure. Some people feel neck and shoulder pain for several days after a laparoscopy because the carbon dioxide gas irritates the diaphragm. As the gas is absorbed, this pain will go away. Lying down can help decrease the pain.
Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medicine or tell you what over-the-counter pain medicines you can take.
You may go back to your normal activities within 1 to 2 days. However, do not lift anything over 10 pounds for 3 weeks after surgery to decrease your risk of getting a hernia in your incisions.