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What is Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery often used to examine the organs inside the abdomen or to obtain biopsy samples. If you have chronic pain in your abdomen or pelvis, a lump in your abdomen, or are a woman having trouble getting pregnant, a doctor may recommend having laparoscopic surgery. The surgery is performed with a thin tube called a laparoscope. The laparoscope has a light and camera attached to it which allows the surgeon to see the inside of the body via operating screens. Those undergoing laparoscopic surgery often experience milder post-operative discomfort, a shorter recovery period and smaller scars, since incisions used in laparoscopic surgery are much smaller than those in open surgery. The Surgery Center of Fort Collins has extensive experience in executing advanced laparoscopic surgeries, including appendectomies, gallbladder removal and hysterectomies.

What happens during laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopy surgery can be done on an outpatient basis. Patients are given general anesthesia so there isn’t any pain felt during the procedure. Once you are completely under anesthesia the surgeon will make a small incision in the abdomen area, near the belly button. The laparoscope will be inserted through the incision. Other incisions may be made if other instruments are needed. The surgeon will maneuver the laparoscope around to explore the internal area and perform any procedure, monitoring the movement and areas on a computer screen. Once the procedure is done, all laparoscopy instruments are removed and the incisions are closed with stitches or surgical tape.

Preparing for Laparoscopic Surgery

Always start by asking your doctor what you need to do. Your doctor may ask you to have blood tests or a specific imaging test done, such as an ultrasound, before the surgery. Such a test provides the doctor with a preview of the abdomen that will be examined. If you will be getting general anesthesia, you may have to fast for six to eight hours before the surgery. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, prescription or over-the-counter. Wear loose-fitting clothing. You may feel a bit sore after the surgery, and looser clothing will provide more comfort on the way home. You should also arrange for someone to pick you up and drive you home when you are done. General anesthesia can make you drowsy and patients should not be driving in that condition.

Recovery for Laparoscopic Surgery

Recovery from any surgery is different for everyone. Laparoscopic healing time will depend upon your physical condition and on the type of anesthesia you were given. Your vital signs will be closely monitored, and you will be checked for any bleeding. Once your vital signs are stable and you feel fully alert, you may be sent home.

It will be important to keep the laparoscopic surgery incision, along with any stitches or bandages, clean and dry. You will be given laparoscopic surgery after care instructions on how to do that, plus how to shower without affecting the cut area. Your doctor may order a prescription to help with any laparoscopic surgery pain. Only take medications (even over the counter pain relievers) if your doctor approves them. Any pain or discomfort should improve a little each day.

Make sure to immediately report any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, redness, swelling or fever.

A report outlining your surgery results will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will review the results with you. If the surgery discovered a medical condition, your doctor will propose a course of action and treatment.

Check with your doctor before resuming any physical activity. It will probably be at least a few days before you can begin any physical activity again. Make it a priority to rest and be at ease. Continue to dress comfortably and try to get a good night’s sleep.

If you are considering laparoscopic surgery, contact the Surgery Center of Fort Collins for more information. We do perform this surgery for patients, and it is often more affordable and less stressful to have it done at our ambulatory surgery center as opposed to a hospital setting. Call 970-821-8634 for more information or to schedule an appointment.