Women's Services: FAQs
What is a laparoscope?
A laparoscope is a lighted "telescope" that fits through a small tube placed into the abdomen through a tiny incision. Your surgeon is able to see
the reproductive organs either by looking through the scope or on a video screen. This ability to view the reproductive organs may enable the surgeon
to determine the cause of your symptoms. In addition to viewing the organs, the surgeon can insert instruments through other small incisions to perform
What are some of the conditions for which laparoscopic surgery is used?
Laparoscopic surgery is often used to diagnose and treat endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow outside
the uterus and attaches to other pelvic structures.
- Endometriosis can cause pain, irregular bleeding, and even infertility. The patches of endometrial tissue, once visualized through the laparoscope,
can either be removed or destroyed.
- Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that occur outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. The laparoscope may be used to remove or
repair the tube.
- Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that may develop as a result of infection, previous surgery, or endometriosis. Through the laparoscope,
adhesions can be separated or removed.
- Fibroids (growths on the uterus) and ovarian cysts (fluid filled sacs on the ovaries) can both be removed via operative laparoscopy.
How do I prepare for my laparoscopy?
- You will probably have blood work and a urine test before your procedure.
- You will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
- Wear eyeglasses, not contact lenses, to the hospital.
- Remember to bring your insurance card and a list of your medications.
- Do not bring valuables to the hospital.
- You must arrange to have someone drive you home from the hospital.
What happens the day of my laparoscopy?
- You will sign a consent form.
- You will have an IV inserted.
- You may be given some medicine to make you drowsy.
- You will be taken to the operating room and your nurse will tell your loved ones where they may wait.
- In the operating room, you will be given a general anesthetic. You may have a catheter inserted into your bladder to drain urine. After you
are asleep, your surgeon will insert gas into the abdomen to expand the space for better visibility. Once the laparoscope is inserted into the
abdomen, the surgeon will be able to view your reproductive organs. One or more small incisions will be made to accommodate instruments.
What happens after my laparoscopy?
The pacing catheters are inserted into your heart to serve two purposes:
- Nurses will monitor you after your procedure. Adhesive strips will cover your small incisions. You may have some abdominal soreness, as well
as possible shoulder discomfort. Pain medications will be available if you are uncomfortable.
- The length of your hospital stay will depend on the extent of your surgery. Your doctor will be able to tell you during your pre-operative
visit the expected length of your stay.
What can I do when I go home?
You will be given specific instructions at the time of your discharge regarding any activity restrictions. Generally, you should avoid heavy
lifting and do only light activities for a few days.
Please note: It can take approximately 72 hours for the anesthetic agents to be completely removed from your body. Avoid alcohol
and any medicines not prescribed by your physician during this time, and do not sign any important documents or operate dangerous
machinery within the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Call your doctor if you have:
- Severe or increased pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Frequent or burning urination
What are the risks?
Although the risks of laparoscopy are extremely low, complications are possible. Your physician will discuss with you in detail the risks of this type of surgery, based on your particular case. Generally, complications include bleeding, infection, anesthetic complications, and injury to intestines or pelvic organs.
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