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Laparoscopy is an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis cavity through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. The laparoscope can be used for diagnosis and/or therapeutic interventions with a few small cuts in the abdomen. Specific surgical instruments used in a laparoscopic surgery include: forceps, scissors, probes, dissectors, hooks, retractors and more. Laparoscopic surgery belongs to the field of endoscopy.

Did you know…
there are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus the more common, open procedure? Pain and hemorrhaging are reduced due to smaller incisions and recovery times are shorter. The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope, a long fiber optic cable system which allows viewing of the affected area by snaking the cable from a more distant, but more easily accessible location.

What types of laparoscopic procedures are performed by an OBGYN?
Multiple laparoscopic surgeries are performed by the gynecologist, including a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Other procedures are tubal sterilization, removal of tubes and/or ovaries, removal of ovarian cysts, treatment of endometriosis, removal of fibroids, removal of scar tissue, treatment of ectopic pregnancies, vaginal vault suspension, and many other procedures.

What should I expect during a laparoscopic procedure?
It all depends on the type of laparoscopic procedure, but advancements in gynecological technology have made them much less invasive, much more precise, and with a shorter recovery time.
Prior to the procedure, you may be given intravenous antibiotic and a vaginal douche to lower your risk of developing an infection during the surgery. You’ll be placed under general anesthesia for between one and two hours, eventually waking up with no memory of the procedure.

Will I need to follow any special post-surgical care instructions?
After laparoscopic surgery, you will be given instructions for you recovery period. You’ll be encouraged to begin walking around within just hours of your operation. Depending on the laparoscopic surgery, you may go home on the day of surgery or may need to stay in the hospital for supervision for several days. You’ll need to get plenty of rest and avoid lifting heavy objects or children for at least six weeks after your procedure.

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