What is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique performed through a few small incisions (3-10 mm wide) made at various locations depending on the procedure being performed and the disease being treated. One of the incisions is usually made at the belly button, and this is the most common site for the scope (laparoscope) to be inserted. The laparoscope has a light source at its end and a camera that tranmits the image to television screens placed throughout the operating room. This allows the surgical team to view inside the abdomen with magnification and great detail. Once the scope is inserted, the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas so the abdominal wall is elevated above the organs. The other incisions are made and trocars are placed in the incisions for insertion of surgical instruments. The trocars help keep the gas in the abdomen but allow the necessary instruments to be inserted into the abdomen.
A, B and C mark trocar sites for routine laparoscopy.
Why Is It Done?
Laparoscopic surgery has many applications in gynecology, including (but not limited to):
- treatment of endometriosis
- ovarian cysts
- ectopic pregnancy
- pelvic reconstruction
Almost any gynecologic surgery can be performed laparoscopically.
The benefits of laparoscopy include smaller incisions, shorter recovery, and less pain. Generally, patients can return to normal activity with few restrictions within two weeks. If the procedure or disease treated is extensive, recovery can take longer.
To find out more information on Laparoscopy, or to find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure, consult your physician.