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Laparoscopy is used to diagnose a number of ailments such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory diseases to name a few.
It is a type of surgery, which involves the usage of small tubes, surgical instruments and video cameras for operations through small incisions or cuts in your body.
Even though laparoscopy is a very popular form of surgery, there are quite a few myths associated with it, which are:
- Myth: If you've undergone multiple abdominal surgeries in the past, you can't opt for a laparoscopy: The truth is that you can go for a laparoscopy even if you've gone through multiple surgeries previously, irrespective of the location or size of the previous incisions. This is done through the use of a special instrument, called a microlaparscope that enables safe entry into the abdomen of the patient.
- Myth: If you're overweight or underweight, you can't undergo a laparoscopy: No matter if you're obese or too thin, you can still undergo a laparoscopy as the tools used for this surgical procedure are available in different lengths and sizes, and can be adjusted as per the body type of the patient before the incision is made.
- Myth: The images taken through a laparoscope are of poor quality: This is not true. In fact, the visuals obtained through a laparoscope are clearer and much more accurate when compared to those obtained via an open surgery. The visuals of a video laparoscopy provide a detailed magnification of even those parts of the area that are inaccessible by the human eye.
Though different people experience the surgery differently due to difference in health conditions, there are some points everyone should know about a laparoscopic surgery.
- The problems that laparoscopy addresses: Conditions like ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disorders are generally treated using laparoscopic surgery. Moreover, laparoscopy is also used to remove the gallbladder, appendix, patches of endometriosis or detect adhesions, fibroids and cysts. Also a biopsy of the organs inside the abdomen can be done through laparoscopy.
- The duration of your stay in hospital: Usually performed on an outpatient basis (release on the same day as the surgery), a laparoscopic surgery may require you to stay overnight at the hospital if your condition requires a complex or lengthy surgery. Moreover, if the doctor feels that a bowel resection or partial bowel resection needs to be performed, you may have to stay at the hospital for a few days.
When an organ residing in a cavity such as the abdomen tries to push through the muscular layer it resides in, it is called as hernia.
Though said to be genetic, hernias can be caused by things such as improper heavy lifting, incorrect posture, or chronic constipation and as a result of surgical complication or injury. Factors like obesity, pregnancy, smoking, chronic lung disease aggravate the severity of the hernia. It is believed that about 27% of all males and 3% of females can have a hernia during their lifetime.
Types of hernias:
- Inguinal hernia: The groin is the most common area, where the abdomen pushes through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall, causing a protrusion into the inguinal canal. This is more common in men than women.
- Hiatal hernia: The abdomen has the diaphragm separating it from the thoracic cavity in the upper border. When it pushes through the diaphragm, a hernia is caused and there is almost always associated food reflux in these cases. Though the most common cause is associated old age, due to muscle weakness, there also are cases of congenital hiatal hernias.
- Umbilical hernia: The abdomen finds a weak layer along its length and protrudes through the skin on the stomach. Most commonly seen in babies around the bellybutton, it gradually corrects itself on its own. Quiet rare in adults, seen during pregnancy and in chronic obese people.
- Incisional: These are post-surgical, and happen when the organ protrudes through the weakened wall due to surgery. The abdomen is again the most common area and the hernia can happen either onto the external surface or internally, when they are called ventral hernias.
These are the most frequent types, though hernia affects other organs like the spine, brain, appendix, etc.
This includes a combination of constant monitoring followed by a decision to do surgical treatment. Hiatal hernias and umbilical hernias can be monitored for a while before deciding on surgery. Inguinal hernias may require surgery earlier in the stage. Post-surgery, a mesh is placed to hold back the tissue in its corrected place. The umbilical hernia in children could be self-limiting. If it does not get auto-corrected in the first year of life, that also would qualify for a surgical treatment. Hernias need to be managed under medical supervision.
Related Tip: "Is It Crucial To Treat Hernia, Surgically?"
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The thought of undergoing a major surgery worries most people as they stress about the possible surgical complications, outcomes of the procedure or just get scared with the idea of getting an incision. But, following a few simple steps before the surgery may enable you to not only lessen your fears but also accelerate the recovery process.
Here are some of the most effective tips to prepare yourself in a way that ensures a stress-free surgical procedure.
1. Acquire knowledge about the surgery beforehand
Keep yourself thoroughly informed about the surgical procedures you will undergo. Ask your surgeon about the time required for complete recovery, your stay at the hospital, hygiene standards of the hospital etc. Also, talk about the surgical complications that you may experience and the measures to be taken from your side to deal with them.
2. Inform the doctor about your prevalent health issues
Talk to your doctor if you are suffering from any medical conditions currently like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis etc. Also inform him if you are under any kind of medications or allergic to any particular drug.
3. Enquire about the types of anaesthesia available
Knowing about your anaesthesia choices always help you prepare better for an operation. While some surgery requires specific types of anaesthesia for other you can decide whether you want a local, regional or general anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia is used for affecting a small area while the regional one is used for numbing a larger part and general, your entire body.
4. Be prepared to deal with the post-surgery pain
You might experience post-surgery pain depending on the type of procedure followed. Ask your doctor for suggestions on the type of medicines you should do to curb this pain. Generally, most doctors recommend drugs, hot or cold therapy, massage etc.
5. Look for a caregiver in advance
You will require some support and care after the surgery while you recover. Seek the help of your family and friends in this regard and ensure that someone can stay with you for at least a day after you return from the hospital.
6. Follow the pre and post surgery instructions given by the doctor
Follow all the instructions given by the doctor regarding the kind of diet to be followed, restriction from consuming certain things like alcohol or any other lifestyle changes required to keep you healthy before and after the surgery.
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The development of minimally invasive surgical procedures has brought about great improvement in the medical field. This form of surgical procedure makes use of advanced technologies so as to reduce the need for making bigger incisions (or cuts) that characterise conventional open surgeries for the pelvic or abdominal region. A modern surgical technique that has made its appearance in the field of minimally invasive surgery is the laparoscopic single incision surgery.
So what is laparoscopic single incision surgery?
A variation of the traditional laparoscopic surgery, laparoscopic single incision surgery is a relatively a more complex process as it involves the manipulation of 3 surgical instruments through just one point of access. The chief advantage that it offers is that of fewer scar formations as the incision point is very small. Instead of the usual 4-5 small incisions that characterise a laparoscopic surgery, only a single incision of about 1.5-2cm is made and is used as point of entry for different surgical instruments to be inserted.
It can help procedures ranging from gynaecological and urological to colon and cover operations like removal of gallbladders, appendix, ovarian cysts, ovaries or the small bowel. The length of time that the surgeon normally takes to perform an operation using this approach is the same as you would normally expect from a conventional laparoscopic technique (which is roughly an hour).
What are the advantages of this form of surgery?
The reason behind the growing popularity of this type of surgical procedure is that unlike open surgery, it does not come with the disadvantages of longer recovery times, greater pain, infection and blood loss.
The key benefits that this form of minimally invasive surgery offers are:
1. It causes less discomfort than a normal open surgery as it requires only a single incision to be made on the body
2. Since fewer incisions are made, the chances of infection and scarring are also significantly reduced through this approach
3. Again, because the recovery time for this minimally invasive surgical procedure is short, the hospital stay following this surgical procedure is also of a shorter span
4. It also enables you to return to your diet of solid food much faster than you would normally do when you opt for the traditional surgery
5. It also sees you returning to your daily activities and lifestyle much faster
Offering a host of benefits, including fewer complications, single incision laparoscopic surgery can be opted if you suffer from problems of the abdominal or pelvic region.
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