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Laparoscopy - Benefits, Risks and Recovery

Everything you need to know about laparoscopy

Pelvic laparoscopy is a surgical procedure involving an instrument called a laparoscope. A surgeon inserts this instrument through a small incision over the abdomen below or above umbilicus.

Gynecologist often use laparoscopy to diagnose disorders and diseases of the pelvis, uterus, and fallopian tube and ovaries.

A surgeon commonly performs the procedure while the patient is under general anesthetia. People will usually be completely asleep when undergoing a laparoscopy.

Although a laparoscopy can be used in a number of different treatments, such as abdominal hernia repairs and removing the appendix, this article will focus mainly on the gynecological use of pelvic laparoscopy.

What is a laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy helps diagnose pelvic and gynecological issues while remaining minimally invasive.

A laparoscopy is a diagnostic as well as therapeutic procedure.

A surgeon uses a thin device with an attached light and camera to help them more clearly visualize organ damage and disease.

During a laparoscopy, surgeon inserts the laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision over the abdomen below or above umbilicus.They will create pneumoperitoneum, allowing for clearer imaging of the organs in the abdomen and pelvis.

At times, a surgeon might support a laparoscopy with additional surgical instruments, which they can insert through the incision sites. A person undergoing a laparoscopy can often expect one to four 5 mm incisions.

A medical professional carrying out a laparoscopy might also use a uterine manipulator is inserted into the vagina, cervix, and uterus to allow for pelvic organ movement to see different pelvic anatomy.

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will remove most of the carbon dioxide from the abdomen, remove all instruments, close the incisions with stitches, and cover the area with small waterproof bandages so as patient have bath.

Following the procedure, the individual may feel tired or nauseous or sleepy as a result of the anesthesia.

Most people are discharged from hospital on second day of surgery, although more hospitalization may be necessary for some people to enable a full recovery, such as after a laparoscopic hysterectomy that involves removal of the uterus.


A laparoscopy can take place for many reasons, health conditions, and diagnoses, including tubal ligation, diagnostic procedures, and the treatment of certain conditions.

Common reasons for undergoing a laparoscopy include:

  • The diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, and causes of infertility
  • The removal of fibroids, uterus, ovarian cysts or an ectopic pregnancy
  • The treatment of a range of disorders pelvic organ prolapse, and certain forms of cancer like endometrium and cervix
  • Evaluating patency of fallopian tube and correct it if it is not patent


As with any surgical procedure, laparoscopy has benefits and risks. The benefits of the procedure are most apparent when comparing a laparoscopy to open surgery.

The benefits of laparoscopy include:
  • Less pain than an open procedure
  • Faster recovery
  • Smaller incisions
  • Less risk of infection


The risks of laparoscopy include:
  • bleeding and the potential need for a blood transfusion
  • infection
  • hernia
  • a risk of damage to internal structures, such as such as blood vessels, the stomach, bowel, bladder, or ureter
  • adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • abdominal inflammation or infection
  • blood clots


Some carbon dioxide may remain in the body and cause back or shoulder pain.

An array of symptoms might occur for a few days following a laparoscopy, including:

  • Fatigue.
  • A sore throat, due to breathing tube during surgery
  • Discomfort at the site of an incision
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Shoulder or back pain from any remaining carbon dioxide within the abdomen, which can irritate the diaphragm

Any shoulder or back pain should resolve within a few days.

Schedule another appointment with Gynecologist on experiencing any of the following:
  • worsening or severe pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • heavy vaginal bleeding
  • heavy menstrual bleeding or menstrual clotting
  • fainting
  • signs of infection, including fever, chills or redness,
  • swelling and discharge at the site of the incision
  • inability to empty urinary bladder
  • shortness of breath

These symptoms could indicate complications from the procedure. These may require further treatment.

People can typically resume normal activities within 1 or 2 days of surgery. However, discuss specific postoperative limitations and instructions with Gynecologist providing a laparoscopy.

This may include avoiding heavy exercise or lifting for a few weeks.