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Laparoscopic Surgery - Everything About It!

Reviewed by
MBBS, DNB (General Surgery), MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy) (General Surgery) , Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of Indian association og gastro intestinal endo surgeons
General Surgeon, Ghaziabad  •  12 years experience
Laparoscopic Surgery - Everything About It!

Laparoscopic surgery is also called minimally invasive surgery. It leads to a lesser amount of pain after the surgery, and therefore requires less medication also. It reduces the possibility of hemorrhage, thereby lowering the possibility of requiring a blood transfusion. The smaller length and depth of the incision also means that the patient recovers from the surgery faster than usual. There is also a lesser chance of contracting infections because a larger number of organs remain unexposed. Laparoscopic surgeries also cause smaller, lighter scars once the surgery wound heals completely.

Definition: A laparoscopic surgery is one where small incisions are made and an instrument called a laparoscope is used in order to take a look at the organs in the abdominal region. This tool is a long tube-shaped one that comes with its own high-intensity light and a high Definition camera that can easily move along the walls of the organs while the camera sends back imagery that will be displayed on a video screen in front of the doctor. This avoids the need for open surgery and helps the doctors in doing all kinds of surgical producers getting samples for a biopsy.

Diagnostic Laparoscopy: This procedure is performed when the patient complains of persistent pain that is also sharp and shooting, in the abdomen region and surrounding areas like the pelvic cavity. This non-invasive method helps in diagnosis where other imaging methods like an ultrasound and CT or MRI scans would have failed to give a conclusive reason for the pain and suffering of the patient. When these tests do not supply enough reason for proper diagnosis, then the doctors usually resort to this kind of procedure.

The Organs it can be used for: it can be used for almost all organs inside the abdominal cavity.  Commonly the laparoscopic surgery can be used for many organs including the appendix as well as the gall bladder, the pelvic region and the reproductive organs, the small and large intestines, the spleen, the stomach, the liver and the pancreas.

What all can it Detect: The laparoscopic surgery can help in detecting a number of issues including any abnormal growth or mass that may be a tumor. It can also point at the presence of any disease in the liver, as well as the proper functioning of certain treatments. Also, it can show the amount of fluid that may or may not be present in the abdominal cavity and the extent of cancer's progression in the body it can diagnose and treat a large majority of intraabdominal disease intestinal diseases obstruction, inflammatory infectious condition benign and cancerous disease.

Risks: risks in laparoscopy are about the same as in conventional open surgery only some risks are less, some are more.  There are a few side effects or risks of this method including fever, chills, swelling, bleeding or redness of the site where the incision was made for the surgery, and shortness of breath. All these symptoms must be reported to the doctor immediately as they may point at the presence of an infection. Also, there is a risk of organ damage in this procedure.

Advantages: whole abdominal cavity can be explored with high definition, high-resolution vision without opening up the abdominal cavity. the vision is even better than normal vision. now with the use of 3- dimensional vision and robotic instruments the precision of surgery is many times better than the conventional surgery. The patient can walk either same or next day of surgery almost after all surgeries.

Limitations: sometimes the disease has spread so badly that laparoscopic surgery is technically not feasible, then open surgery has to be started after abandoning the laparoscopy. this decision is often taken during the surgery.

Thoracoscopy: same advanced technology is used inside chest cavity and almost all surgeries can be done related to diseases of lungs, pericardium, heart, and other organs, without, opening up the chest cavity, without breaking/ withing the rubs or  sternum, which results in amazingly good outcomes and faster recovery, less pain.

Summary: better surgery, accurate surgery, very less postoperative pain, less leaves from work, less complications, negligible scars.

Tips to deal with laparoscopic surgery
Before Surgery-

1. The first and the foremost thing is to prepare yourself for the surgery by watching some videos and going through some blogs on it as doing so will help you clear your doubts
2. Do not eat or drink anything 8 hours before the procedure
3. Make sure someone accompanies you on the day of the surgery
4. Fix your Pre Op appointment to ask any questions or address any concerns regarding the surgery, anesthesia, etc
5. Shave the area where the surgery will be performed. This will substantially reduce itchiness
6. Lastly, prepare your hospital bag and discuss it with the person who is going to accompany you so that he/she knows what all you packed

After Surgery-
1. Don’t lie down in bed all the time. Keep yourself active by moving every two hours as it promotes healing and helps eliminate gas pain
2. Wear comfortable clothing
3. Do not take a bath for a week. However, you can take a shower 24 hours post surgery with a waterproof dressing.
4. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day to prevent constipation. If constipated, take a stool softener.
5. While sneezing or coughing, hold a pillow against your stomach to lessen the pain
6.Roll onto your side and sit up using your arms for support and then stand up
7. Don’t drive for two weeks
8.Refrain from intercourse, douching, and swimming
9. Make sure to visit your doctor 2 to 3 weeks post surgery to make sure your wounds are healing

It might take some time for the wounds to heal, but in case of any prolonged pain do remember to consult the doctor immediately.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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