A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure where a narrow, fibre optic tube is inserted through the skin of the abdomen through a pair of very small incisions to enable the specialist to see the abdominal and reproductive organs.
It can be done for both diagnostic (to find out what’s wrong) and therapeutic (to treat what’s wrong) reasons.
Laparoscopic surgery for gynaecology is classified according to the complexity of the procedure undertaken ranging from level 1 (simple diagnostic laparoscopy) to level 6 (complicated surgery for the treatment of severe endometriosis).
The experienced surgeons at Gynae North are accredited to undertake even the most complicated, level 6, procedures.
For a diagnostic laparoscopy, two incisions are made – one just at the base of the navel and the other at the top of the pubic hair line. These are both small and do not require sutures to close them. The resulting scars are small and will gradually fade until they are almost impossible to see.
For operative laparoscopies, a third small incision is made in the lower left side of the abdomen and for more complicated procedures, a fourth small incision may be required in the right lower abdomen also.
Warmed, humidified medical gas is then pumped into the abdominal cavity, to create the space required for the specialist to operate, and let out at the end of the operation.
These incisions enable the surgeon to utilise specialised surgical tools to carry out the procedure, avoiding the need for a more invasive operation, and in doing so reduces scarring, post-operative pain and recovery time.
The risks associated with Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery vary between individuals. During your consultation, your Doctor will discuss with you in detail whether you would benefit from a laparoscopy, they will review the risks and benefits as they apply to your individual circumstances and alleviate any concerns that you may have, before scheduling you in for your procedure. You will be provided with detailed information on the procedure as it relates to you, as well as comprehensive pre- and post-operative instructions to optimise the procedure and your recovery.
You will need to take time off work to accommodate your laparoscopy, after which the duration of recovery is dependent on the extent of the surgery.
Generally speaking, more minor procedures will take less than one hour and full recovery can be expected within a few days, while longer operations can take place over many hours and may see recovery take up to 4 weeks.