What is the treatment?
Laparoscopic surgery, often referred to as the diagnostic laparoscopy is a surgical process used for examining the organs within the abdomen. It is a low-risk and minimally invasive process where only small incisions are made below the naval areas of the women who cannot conceive. In this process, a small instrument called laparoscope is used with high-intensity light and camera at the front. Many doctors recommend the process for having a view inside the abdomen in real time without having an open surgery. Your doctor can also take biopsy samples at the time of the process. The camera transmits the image of the organs present in the uterus onto the television monitor. The video camera becomes the eye of the surgeon in the process of laparoscopic surgery, and thus it helps the surgeon to determine whether there are any abnormalities with the patient. The laparoscopic surgery is often chosen over traditional treatment methods since it involves minimum post-operative discomfort, fast recovery, less duration of hospital stay, early return to daily chores and considerably smaller scars.
How is the treatment done?
Laparoscopy can be described as a method of performing the surgery where tiny incisions are made in place of large cuts. There are two types of laparoscopic surgery- advanced surgery with a hand-held device and robot-assisted surgery. The human hand performs different functions during the surgery which are hard to reproduce with the aid of laparoscopic instruments. It is not possible for the hand to access microscopic regions within the stomach. This has led to the development of hand-access tools which can easily reach the liver, pancreas, and bile duct. It is very easy to access the areas which could only be reached through large cuts. In the case of robot-assisted surgeries, the doctor operates two devices which resemble the joysticks. It makes three incisions in the abdomen through which two robotic arms and one camera is inserted. The camera reflects high resolution and depth perceptive images which help the doctor to assess the condition of the patient. In most of the modern countries, the robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery is performed to reduce complications and time of recovery.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Your doctor may recommend you to undergo the laparoscopic surgery for reconstruction of the bile duct, altering the way of the bile duct which has been blocked by a tumour, reconstruction of the gastrointestinal tract and suturing the jejunum to the pancreatic duct. It is often helpful if you are suffering from distal pancreatectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and adrenalectomy. The laparoscopic surgery helps in the evaluation of the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, appendix, stomach, spleen, small and large intestine along with the organs of reproduction. It helps the doctor to find if there are any abdominal mass or tumour or unwanted fluid in the abdominal cavity and liver diseases.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
There are no restrictions as such regarding who cannot undergo the laparoscopic surgery. But similar to all other surgical procedures, individuals with very high blood sugar and blood pressure may not be able to undergo the treatment. High cholesterol levels and smoking are also red flags for laparoscopic treatment.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effects of the laparoscopic surgery include infection and bleeding. Thus, it is crucial to watch for the signs of infection and report any abnormalities to the doctor. If your stomach pain becomes intense with the passage of time accompanied by fever and chills, then it must be reported to the doctor without any delay. Plus, you may also experience swelling, redness, bleeding at the site of the incision. Other side effects include lightheadedness, coughing persistently, difficulty in urinating, and a constant feeling of nausea. You must not ignore them and report to the doctor. Although very rare, some people experience complications arising from the general anaesthesia, inflammation of the abdominal wall and a blood clot which may also travel to your pelvis and lungs.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
The symptoms after undergoing the laparoscopic surgery start alleviating from the second day of the surgery. There are no restrictions on the amount of work you can do after the surgery but make sure that you listen to your body. You can use the stairs if you feel that you will be able to take the physical exertion. You must avoid sex for at least two weeks if your surgery has involved incisions in the vagina or the cervix.
How long does it take to recover?
Once the laparoscopic surgery is over, your doctor would keep you under observation to find out whether there are any complications. They will also see to the fact whether there are any adverse reactions to the anaesthesia being used. The timing of your release would depend on factors such as your overall physical condition, kind of anaesthesia and how your body reacted to the surgery. At times, you may have to remain in the hospital at night. You can start with your daily chores within a week but make sure that you attend the doctor for follow-up treatments.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
This is yet another surgical procedure which is affordable for every commoner. The price lies somewhere around Rs. 20,000, but it can be a bit more on the basis of the quality of the healthcare and your health complications. But many people undergo the treatment every year, and some insurances also cover it.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
If the doctor takes a biopsy, he will look for instances of adhesions and scars, hernias, appendicitis, tumours and cysts, cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease. Since the laparoscopic surgery is an invasive procedure, it will mitigate the risk factors and ensure that your organs are healthy. But for this, you must abide by the instructions given by the doctor.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
There is only one alternative to laparoscopic surgery which is HSG although many gynaecologists believe that it is a complimentary process rather than an alternative. The other process is laparotomy which is a major surgery where the abdomen is cut open, and the patient is required to stay at the hospital for about 4 to 6 days.