What is Laparoscopy?
- Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical process that helps in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
- This procedure involves a tiny incision which is made in the navel or belly button (umbilicus) and then a long thin instrument with a lens at one end called laparoscope is inserted which allows the surgeon to evaluate the reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries).
When is Laparoscopy used?
Laparoscopy can be used to:
- diagnose and treat causes of Infertility:-
- remove adhesions (scar tissue)
- treat an ectopic pregnancy
- carry out female sterilization (surgery on the fallopian tubes to prevent any pregnancy in the future)
- removal of an ovarian cyst
- removal of ovaries (oophorectomy) or your womb (hysterectomy)
- treat fibroids
- removal of lymph nodes for cancer treatment or investigate cancer
- By observing the areas such as the appendix, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, small and large bowel, spleen, stomach, pelvic or reproductive organs with a laparoscope, the doctor can detect:-
- an abdominal mass or tumor
- fluid in the abdominal cavity
- liver disease
- the effectiveness of certain treatments
- the degree to which particular cancer has progressed
- check for and treat pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- check for any damage to the internal organs, like the spleen, following an accident or injury
- perform a tubal ligation
- fix an inguinal hernia or a hiatal hernia
- take out organs, such as the gallbladder, uterus, spleen (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), appendix (appendectomy) or ovaries
- resection (partial removal) of the colon can also be done
How to prepare for the procedure?
Some of the preparations to be done before the process are as following:-
- You should also tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant. The information will lessen the risk of harm to your developing baby.
- To improve the effectiveness of the procedure, the doctor may perform certain tests such as blood tests, urinalysis, electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), chest X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan.
- To relax you the doctor may give you a sedative or anesthesia.
- The arrangement for someone to take you home after the surgery should be made if you are given anesthesia.
- You should notify the physician if you:
- Have allergies to anesthesia, including any medicines.
- Are using any blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin or have any bleeding problems.
- You will need to leave your jewellery at home as any jewellery you wear will need to be taken off before the surgery.
- Remove your contacts, glasses, and dentures or a removable bridge before the surgery.
- You will be required to stop eating or drinking some time before the procedure (approx.8 hrs.), and you will have to empty your bladder one hour before the surgery.
What is the necessary treatment procedure?
To prepare you for the process a sedative (medicine) or anesthesia will be administered to numb the area, to help you relax, or to help you sleep. Then the process takes place in the following order:-
- A urinary catheter (thin flexible tube) will be inserted through your urethra into the bladder.
- A special soap will be used to wash your belly and pelvic area.
- Before inserting a cannula (thin tube) through your vagina into the uterus, the doctor will do a pelvic exam. The cannula allows the surgeon to move your uterus and ovaries to get a better look at the belly organs.
- During laparoscopy, a tiny cut is made in the stomach.
- A hollow needle is inserted through the first incision and carbon dioxide, or nitrous oxide gas is gradually put through the needle to inflate the stomach.
- The insertion of gas helps to lift the abdominal wall away from the organs inside so the doctor can see clearly.
- A thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) with a laser attached to it is then inserted through the incision to examine the organs. To take tissue samples, fix the damage, or drain cysts other tools can be used.
- After the surgery, all the tools are removed, and the gas is released.
- Then the small incisions made are closed with sutures and are covered with the bandages.
- The scar will be tiny and will fade over time.
In the case of normal laparoscopy:-
- The size, position and shape of the organs are normal.
- There are no cysts, adhesions or abnormal growth such as tumors.
- There are no signs of any inflammation such as appendicitis, disease such as endometriosis or infection.
In the case of abnormal laparoscopy:-
- The size, position and shape of the organs may be abnormal.
- There may be cysts, adhesions or abnormal growth such as tumors.
- There may be signs of any inflammation such as appendicitis, disease such as endometriosis or infection.
- There may be signs of ectopic pregnancy.
- There may be scar tissue on an internal organ such as fallopian tubes.
- There may be some inflammation of an internal organ such as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) or appendicitis cholecystitis.