Gynecologic laparoscopic surgery is a surgical procedure involving the insertion of a laparoscope into the pelvic and abdominal cavities in order to diagnose and treat gynecologic disorders, including those of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
Gynecologic Disorders Treated Using Laparoscopic Surgery
- Ovarian cysts, or certain types of ovarian tumors
- Uterine fibroids
- Chronic abdominal pain of unknown causes
- Pelvic adhesions
Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery—Preoperative & Postoperative Instructions and Precautions
Preparation for Surgery
Inform the doctor if you are or suspect you might be pregnant, as well as all of your medical history and any history of illness such as congenital disorders, allergies, and more.
If you are taking any medication and/or herbal or other dietary supplements, discuss with your doctor as to whether or not you should discontinue use.
Patients will be given a physical examination, chest x-ray, EKG, and a blood test prior to surgery.
Patients should refrain from eating or drinking for 6 hours before surgery.
Guidelines for Postoperative Care after Laparoscopy
During Recovery at the Hospital
- After surgery, the doctor will insert the urinary catheter, as well as intravenous administration of saline at the arm in order to provide nutrition to the body through the veins until the patient is able to eat on their own again. Patients should not remove the IV on their own.
- If you experience pain or nausea after surgery, you should inform the nursing staff in order to receive the appropriate medications.
- Once your intestines start to function again, your doctor will allow you to take sips of water, after which your diet can usually be advanced to liquid and soft foods.
- Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Avoid getting your surgical wound wet, as this can increase the risk of infection.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects, and refrain from intercourse for one month, or as recommended by your physician.
- Refrain from physical exercise for a period of one month following surgery, after which time you can gradually start to exercise again.
- Don’t miss your scheduled follow-up and treatment appointments.
Possible Postoperative Symptoms
Patients may experience some back and chest pain, as well as abdominal pain, shoulder pain, and bloating due to the carbon dioxide gas used during the operation becoming trapped in the abdominal cavity. These symptoms will likely subside on their own. However, if patients can’t endure them, they should consult with their physician regarding appropriate medication to help relieve the symptoms.
There may be some slight vaginal discharge of possibly a dark red color (in some cases it may be a bright red color) in the early stages after surgery, but this is not a cause for concern and will subside on its own.
Abnormal Symptoms Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
- High fever
- swelling,redness or bleeding at the incision site.
- Prolonged pain that does not subside with pain relief medications.
- Vaginal bleeding, nausea, and vomiting.
Before treatment, the doctor will conduct a review of the patient’s medical history and give the patient a physical examination in order to determine whether or not the patient is fit to undergo laparoscopic surgery.
Benefits of Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is a surgical procedure that has very little impact on the surrounding internal organs and involves only very small surgical incisions. This means reduced surgical complications, much faster recovery time, shorter hospital stays and recovery time, less postsurgical pain, and the ability to return to work and normal daily activities much faster than with traditional open abdominal surgery.
Once the patient’s anesthetic has taken effect, the doctor will make a small incision below or inside the umbilicus and a small needle will be inserted and used to expand the abdomen by filling it with carbon dioxide gas. The gas allows the surgeon easier access and greater clarity. The doctor will then insert the laparoscope and other instruments through small incisions in the abdominal area and the surgery can be performed.
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