Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive surgery done by means of a laparoscope, which is a flexible tube attached to a tiny camera. This tube is inserted into the surgical site and attached to a TV monitor. Along with the laparoscope, miniaturized surgical tools are also inserted into the patient through incisions that are much smaller than those used in a traditional open surgery. This cuts down on the risk of complications and allows the patient to heal from the surgery faster. Laparoscopic surgery is also known as minimally invasive surgery.
A laparoscopic procedure is a minimally invasive surgery mostly used as a diagnostic tool, even though some types of operations are performed using a camera and miniaturized tools. The surgeon often uses minimally invasive surgery to investigate the causes of a patient’s abdominal symptoms. It is used when imaging technologies such as CT scans fail to find the cause of the patient’s problems. The procedure can be used to diagnose diseases and conditions found in the reproductive organs, the stomach, intestines, gallbladder, liver, spleen and other organs. It is also used to perform different types of surgery such as colorectal surgery, vascular surgery and even weight loss surgery.
Before the Procedure
Before the laparoscopic surgery, the doctor takes the patient’s medical history to make sure they are a good candidate for the operation. The patient will need to stop taking any blood thinning medications, including aspirin, for at least a couple of weeks before the surgery. Blood thinners can interfere with the healing process. The doctor may also order a battery of tests including blood tests, electrocardiogram and ultrasound.
What Happens During Laparoscopy
A patient who chooses to undergo laparoscopic surgery in Singapore may have a local anaesthesia with a sedative or general anaesthesia, depending on the operation. Then, a cannula is inserted into the abdomen. Carbon dioxide is injected into the cannula to cause the patient’s belly to swell. This gives the surgeon more room to work.
Small incisions are made in the abdomen. The incisions are generally less than a half an inch long. Then, ports are inserted into the incisions and the laparoscope and surgical tools are placed in these ports. Because the surgeon can’t see directly into the patient, they rely on the images transmitted from the camera to the TV monitor.
After the operation, the incisions are closed up with sutures or surgical tape and dressings are placed over them.
Laparoscopic surgery can be an outpatient procedure, and the patient is often released after resting and being observed for a few hours. Still, they should have someone drive them home and stay with them for at least a couple of days to help them with day to day tasks and make sure that all is well.
As with other surgeries, there will be some discomfort afterwards. This can usually be taken care of by pain medications prescribed by the doctor. Interestingly, many patients also have shoulder pain. This is actually a side effect of the carbon dioxide gas. This should resolve after a couple of days.