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Laparoscopic Surgery for Digestive Problems

What Happens the Day of Laparoscopic Surgery? continued...

Before starting the surgery, your surgeon will take a thorough look at your abdominal cavity to make sure that laparoscopy will be safe for you. Some reasons why laparoscopy may not be done include multiple adhesions (scar tissue from previous surgery), infection, or other abdominal diseases.

If your surgeon decides that laparoscopic surgery can be safely performed, additional small puncture incisions will be made, which will give your surgeon access to the abdominal cavity. The number and location of the incisions depend on the type of operation you are having.

If needed, one of these small incisions may be enlarged to enable your surgeon to remove the diseased section of intestine, or to create an anastomosis (connection) between two ends of your intestine.

If necessary, your surgeon will begin the removal of part of the intestine by closing the larger blood vessels serving the diseased section of the small or large intestine. Next, he or she will separate the fatty tissue that holds the intestine in place. Once the diseased section of intestine is freed from its supporting structures, it can be removed.

The procedure occasionally requires the creation of a temporary or permanent stoma, an opening of part of the intestine to the outside surface of the abdomen. The stoma acts as an artificial passageway through which stool (feces) can pass from the intestine to outside the body where it collects in an external pouch, which is attached to the stoma and must be worn at all times.

Most of the time, the surgeon will reconnect the two ends of intestines. The intestine can be rejoined in a number of ways. One method uses a stapling device that positions staples to join the ends of the intestine. Or, the surgeon may pull the intestinal ends up through one of the small incisions and stitch (suture) the ends together. Your surgeon will choose the best method at the time of your surgery. Finally, your surgeon will check that there is no bleeding, rinse out the abdominal cavity, release the gas from the abdomen, and close the small incisions.

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