Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure used for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, endometriosis, fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, ovarian cyst and pelvic pain. This operation allows a direct view of the uterus, tubes, ovaries, other organs and the pelvic cavity in general. Our Virginia fertility specialist received years of training in laparoscopic surgery. Tubal reversal surgery can also be performed laparoscopically.
In addition to reversal of tubal ligations, conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic adhesions are detectable only through laparoscopy. In addition to establishing a diagnosis, we offer endoscopic surgical treatment for many conditions. Specialized instruments are used and many procedures which formerly required a major operation-we are usually able to perform endoscopically.
Laparoscopy requires general anaesthesia and can last from 45 minutes to many hours, depending on the conditions. A small incision is made just below the naval and a special needle is inserted to inflate the abdominal cavity with carbon dioxide gas. The laparoscope camera is introduced through that incision and another small incision is made in the lower midline of the abdomen for insertion of surgical forceps and instruments to aid in visualizing the pelvic organs. If further laparoscopic surgery is required, additional small incisions may be made in the lateral aspects of the lower abdomen and a total of four incisions are sometimes required. Involved laparoscopy may last several hours.
The risks of complications from laparoscopy are low. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks including injury to the bowel, stomach, urinary bladder, ureters, abdominal and pelvic blood vessels, ovaries, or uterus. Fortunately, the risk of serious complications is less than 1% especially if the laparoscopy is performed by a highly trained fertility surgeon.
After laparoscopy, patients are discharged with a prescription for pain medication. Most people experience minimal pain following the laparoscopy. Nausea the evening of the procedure is a usual anaesthetic side effect.
By the first day following laparoscopy, patients can expect mild abdominal discomfort and some discomfort in the shoulders or anterior chest. Often patients have right shoulder pain related to the gas used to distend the abdominal cavity. The chest and shoulder discomfort is due to irritation of the diaphragms which are the muscles used for breathing. This side effect of laparoscopy usually resolves within 48 hours. Most patients experience mild vaginal bleeding for about 24 hours after the laparoscopy. Complete recovery to normal activity is expected within 3-4 days. Throughout recovery from the laparoscopy, patients should feel progressively stronger with lessening pain. Patients experiencing worsening symptoms should contact our office immediately.
We are also available to answer any questions about laparoscopy or other fertility diagnostic and/or treatment procedures.
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