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Laparoscopy

How To Prepare continued...

You may be asked to use an enema or suppository several hours before or the day before the surgery to empty your colon.

The hospital or surgery center may send you instructions on how to get ready for your laparoscopy or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.

You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the need for the surgery, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

Laparoscopy is done by a surgeon or a doctor of women's health (gynecologist). General anesthesia is generally used, but other types of anesthesia, such as spinal anesthesia, may be used. Talk with your doctor about what choice is best for you.

About an hour before the surgery, you will empty your bladder. You will get fluids and medicine through an intravenous (IV) in a vein in your arm. You may get a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.

Several procedures may be done after you get your anesthesia and are relaxed or asleep.

  • An airway will be placed in your throat to help you breathe if you get general anesthesia.
  • A thin flexible tube (urinary catheter) may be put through your urethra into the bladder.
  • Some of your pubic hair may be shaved.
  • Your belly and pelvic area will be washed with a special soap.
  • For women, your doctor may do a pelvic exam before putting a thin tube (cannula) through your vagina into the uterus. The cannula lets your doctor move your uterus and ovaries to get a better look at the belly organs.

During laparoscopy, a small incision is made in the belly. More than one incision may be made if other tools will be used during the surgery. A hollow needle is put through the first incision and gas (carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide) is slowly put through the needle to inflate the belly. The gas lifts the abdominal wall away from the organs inside so your doctor can see clearly.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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