Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses special instruments and a tiny camera to perform procedures through very small incisions. Laparoscopy can be used to treat many gynecological issues, as well as perform other types of minimally-invasive surgeries. Using smaller incisions means patients are exposed to fewer risks and can experience less pain and a faster recovery.
The laparoscope is a thin, flexible instrument with a very small camera attached. The scope is inserted through a very small incision and transmits still pictures and video to a computer monitor so the doctor can obtain clear images used to guide the operation. Usually, a gas will be used to gently inflate the surgical area to make it easier to view the space and perform the procedure without the need for a large incision.
Laparoscopy has many applications in gynecology. Some of the most common include:
Laparoscopy may also be performed to obtain small tissue samples or biopsies for further evaluation.
That depends on what type of procedure is being performed. In most cases, laparoscopy can be performed using sedation with local anesthesia, but sometimes general anesthesia may be needed. An incision will be made in the abdomen to enable the laparoscope to be inserted into the surgical site; then additional small incisions will be made to accommodate other instruments. Diagnostic procedures may use a single incision to admit the scope, which will be used to take still photographs as well as video. Some procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis so patients can go home the same day. Other procedures like laparoscopic hysterectomies require a very brief hospital stay, usually one night. Most take about 90 minutes or less to perform.
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