Advanced Gynaecological Surgery Centre
 

Treatment Options

Laparoscopy information

Laparoscopy may be done to find a cause or symptom that cannot be diagnosed by ordinary questioning and examination.

A laparoscopy may be recommended if you have:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility
  • Suspected ovarian cysts
  • Suspected ectopic pregnancy
  • Endometriosis.

Laparoscopy may also be used in performing operations such as:

  • Tubal sterilisation or reversal
  • Hysterectomy
  • Treatment of incontinence or prolapse
  • Removal of fibroids

The Procedure

Laparoscopic gynaecological surgery is performed through 2 to 4 small incisions in your abdominal wall.

The camera (telescope) is usually placed through a hole just below your umbilicus (belly button) and the instruments are passed through the other small incisions in order to perform the surgery. Carbon dioxide gas is used to distend the abdomen to allow visualization of the internal organs.

Once your abdomen is inflated, the doctor will place a tiny telescope (called a laparoscope) through the cut.

The laparoscope has a video attached so the doctor can clearly see inside. Other instruments are also used to gently move the pelvic organs and allow the doctor a better view.

You will notice after the operation that you have small cuts just above your pubic hairline which is where other instruments have been used.

An instrument is also put through the vagina and into the uterus so the doctor can move your uterus.

At the end of the operation, all the instruments that were used in the operation are removed, the gas is expelled and the skin cuts are closed using non dissolvable stitches. 

These will be removed any time from 3 – 7 days after the operation by a Practice Nurse in the Doctor’s rooms.

Risks

Laparoscopic surgery in healthy women is generally held to be safe but the risks will depend on the nature of the surgery to be performed as well as your general health.

The risk of a major complication occurring is around 1 per 1000 with a diagnostic laparoscopy and 8 per 1000 with an operative laparoscopy.

During the operation major complications include:

  • Injury to internal organs – e.g. bowel / ureter or bladder.
  • Haemorrhage requiring a blood transfusion.
  • Gas embolism. The carbon dioxide gas used to distend the abdomen may, rarely, pass into the large blood vessels up to the lungs, causing problems with the lungs and heart.

Following the operation problems include:

  • Wound, pelvic, bladder or chest infection (1-5%).
  • Pelvis or wound haematoma (collection of blood clot).
  • DVT – deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg veins).
  • Pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lungs) – rare but serious.
  • Abnormal wound healing / scar formations (keloid).
  • Constipation (very common)
  • Shoulder pain/discomfort
  • Abdominal bloating

During any laparoscopic operation there is a chance that the surgeon may need to convert to open surgery in order to complete the procedure safely. The chance of this happening will also depend on the complexity of the surgery being performed.

The above list is not exhaustive and does not include all possible risks.
If you have any further concerns please feel free to ask your specialist.
Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you prior to obtaining your consent.

What to expect after Laparoscopic Surgery ?

Hospital Stay

  • Day surgery for minor procedures.
  • More complex procedures such as excision of endometriosis, removal of an ovary etc usually require about 1-2 nights stay.

Return to work / Normal activities

  • Between 1-2 weeks for most laparoscopic surgery.
  • You should not drive a car for at least 3 days after surgery.

Click here to view a YouTube video clip of Laparoscopy