Minimally invasive surgery (MIS), commonly known as ‘keyhole’ surgery, has lots of benefits for the patient such as:
- Less post-operative pain and trauma
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stays
- Smaller scars / improved cosmesis (cosmetic appearance of scarring)
- Less invasive
- Less discomfort
- Earlier return to full activities
During the procedure small incisions of up to half an inch are made and plastic tubes called ‘trochars’ are placed into these incisions acting as a channel into the body. It is performed using an endoscope (camera), which is placed through a port access system into the body, transmitting an image of the internal organs onto a screen which the surgeon is able to watch while operating. The endoscope becomes the surgeon’s eyes for the entirety of the procedure and our instruments are the surgeon’s hands.
Conditions that can be diagnosed by diagnostic key hole surgery include:
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts or tumors
- ectopic pregnancy
- pelvic abscess (pus)
- pelvic adhesions (painful scar tissue)
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- reproductive cancers
Surgical treatment that can be done through keyhole surgery:
- hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- removal of the ovaries
- removal of ovarian cysts
- removal of fibroids
- blocking blood flow to fibroids
- endometrial tissue ablation (endometriosis treatment)
- adhesion removal
- reversal of tubal ligation (contraceptive surgery)
- burch procedure for incontinence
How the laparoscopic surgery procedure is done?
Laparoscopy is almost always performed under general anesthesia. This means you will be unconscious for the procedure. However, you may still be able to go home the same day.
Once you are asleep, a small tube called a catheter will be inserted. This collects your urine. Then your abdomen will be filled with carbon dioxide gas. This is done with a small needle. The gas keeps the abdominal wall away from your organs. It reduces the risk of injury.
The surgeon will make a small cut in your navel. The laparoscope will be inserted. It transmits images to a screen. This gives your doctor a clear view of your organs.
What happens next depends on the type of procedure. For diagnosis, your doctor might take a look and then be done. If you need surgery, other incisions will be made. Instruments will be inserted through these holes. Then surgery is performed using the laparoscope as a guide.
Once the procedure is over, all instruments are removed. Incisions are closed with stitches. Then you will be bandaged and sent to recovery.
Recovery after laparoscopic surgery
Recovery time varies. It depends on what procedure was performed. You may be free to go home a few hours after surgery. You might also have to stay in the hospital for one or more nights.
After surgery, your belly button might be tender. There may be bruises on your stomach. The gas inside you can make your chest, middle, and shoulders ache. There is a chance that you will feel nauseated for the rest of the day.
Before you go home, your doctor will give you instructions regarding medication and side effects. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication. You may also receive antibiotics to prevent infection.
Depending on the surgery, you may be told to rest for a few days or weeks. It may take a month or more to return to normal activities.
Serious complications of laparoscopy are rare. However, you should call your doctor if you experience: