International Women's Hospital

Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy can take place for many reasons, health conditions, and diagnoses, including tubal ligation, diagnostic procedures, and the treatment of certain conditions.

Common reasons for undergoing a laparoscopy include:
the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, and causes of infertility the removal of fibroids, uterus, ovarian cysts, lymph nodes, or an ectopic pregnancy the treatment of a range of disorders, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and certain forms of cancer evaluating certain cancers, including those of the ovary, uterus, and cervix.

Benefits
As with any surgical procedure, a laparoscopy has benefits and risks. The benefits of the procedure are most apparent when comparing a laparoscopy to open surgery.

The benefits of laparoscopy include:

  • less pain than an open procedure
  • faster recovery
  • smaller incisions
  • less risk of infection
The risks of laparoscopy include:
  • bleeding and the potential need for a blood transfusion
  • infection
  • hernia
  • a risk of damage to internal structures, such as blood vessels, the stomach, bowel, bladder, or ureter
  • adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • abdominal inflammation or infection
  • blood clots

Pelvic laparoscopy is a surgical procedure involving an instrument called a laparoscope. A surgeon inserts this instrument through a small incision in the abdomen.

Medical teams often use laparoscopy to diagnose disorders and diseases of the pelvis, uterus, and urinary bladder.

These small incisions are only approximately 0.5 inches long. As a result, laparoscopy avoids the need for an open surgical procedure. Doctors commonly refer to laparoscopy as minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery.

A surgeon commonly performs the procedure while the patient is under general anesthetic. People will usually be completely asleep when undergoing a laparoscopy. However, regional anesthetic can be used when appropriate.

Although a laparoscopy can be used in a number of different treatments, such as abdominal hernia repairs and removing the appendix, this article will focus mainly on the gynecological use of pelvic laparoscopy.

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