Gynecological laparoscopic procedures are where the surgeon uses a laparoscope to see or treat the inside of the female’s lower abdomen. The surgeon will be able to see or treat the female’s uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. They will also be able to assess other parts of the female’s body, such as the bladder and bowel.
Looking inside the abdomen, the surgeon can also use special instruments to perform tests or treat certain gynecological problems or conditions. Gynecological laparoscopy is mainly used to diagnose a condition and/or to treat them.
Reasons for a gynecologic laparoscopic surgery
Laparoscopy is performed for diagnosis, treatment, or in some cases, both. A diagnostic laparoscopic procedure can sometimes turn to treatment.
Some reasons for a diagnostic gynecology laparoscopy are:
- Unexplained pelvic pain
- History of pelvic infection
- Unexplained infertility
Conditions that can be diagnosed using gynecology laparoscopy are:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts or tumors
- Ectopic pregnancy
- PID or Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Reproductive cancers
- Pelvic abscess, or pus
- Pelvic adhesions, or painful scar tissue
Common types of gynecology laparoscopic treatment include:
- Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- Removal of ovarian cysts
- Removal of uterine fibroids
- Removal of the ovaries
- To block blood flow to fibroids
- Endometrial tissue ablation (treatment for endometriosis)
- Adhesion removal
- Vault suspension to treat a prolapsed uterus
- Reversal of a contraceptive surgery called tubal ligation
- Burch procedure for urinary incontinence
Preparing for a gynecologic laparoscopic procedure
Preparation for a gynecologic laparoscopic procedure depends on the type of surgery the female is planned to have. She may need imaging tests, or the doctor might order fasting or an enema prior to the scheduled procedure.
The female is suggested to tell her doctor about any medication she is taking, which includes over the counter medications, drugs or supplements. She may be told by the doctor to stop them before her gynecologic laparoscopic procedure.
Arrange someone to pick you up after the procedure or surgery or schedule a cab service as you may not be in a condition to drive and neither would be allowed to drive yourself.
Gynecologic Laparoscopic Procedure
Laparoscopy is performed under the influence of general anesthesia. This means the female would be unconscious for the procedure and maybe dizzy after the procedure too. However, she may still be discharged the same day in some gynecologic laparoscopic procedures.
Once the anesthesia kicks in, the doctor would begin the procedure. In the procedure, a small tube known as a catheter is inserted to collect the urine. A small needle is then used to fill the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas, which keeps the abdominal wall away from the organs, and reduces the risk of any possible injury during the procedure.
The surgeon will then make a small incision in the navel and insert a laparoscope, which will transmit images to a screen. This gives the doctor a clear view of the female’s organs.
The next steps would depend on the type of procedure the female has to undergo. For diagnosis, the doctor might take a look and the procedure would be finished. If the female needs surgery, other incisions might be made. Surgical instruments will be inserted through these small incisions.
Once the procedure is completed, all instruments will be removed and the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, and then the female is bandaged and released to recover.
Risks of a gynecology laparoscopic surgery
Skin irritation and bladder infections are common risks and side effects of gynecology laparoscopic surgery. But, more serious complications involved with such procedures are rare. However, risks or complications in gynecology laparoscopic surgery may include:
- Allergic reactions
- Problems with urinating
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Damage to the abdominal blood vessel, bladder, uterus, or other pelvic structures
Conditions that increase the female’s risk of complications include:
- Previous abdominal surgery
- Pelvic infection
- Chronic bowel disease
- Being underweight or very thin
- An extreme case of endometriosis
Side-effects of gynecological laparoscopy procedure
The female may have some side-effects after gynecology laparoscopic surgery. Most of the side effects are temporary and can be controlled by the doctor. Common side effects may include-
- A small amount of bleeding from the vagina
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Shoulder pain
- Fatigue or tiredness
Although it is quite usual to feel a bit uncomfortable for the first couple of days after the gynecology laparoscopy, the female should feel better soon after. If the female keeps feeling unwell or experiences long-term side-effects, she should contact her doctor at the earliest.