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Laparoscopy

How It Is Done continued...

A thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) is then put through the incision to look at the organs. Other tools can be used to take tissue samples, fix damage, or drain cysts. A laser may be attached to the laparoscope to help with the surgery.

After the surgery, all the tools will be removed and the gas will be released. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage. The scar will be very small and will fade over time.

Laparoscopy takes 30 to 90 minutes, depending on what is done, but can take longer if a condition (such as endometriosis) is found and treated. After the laparoscopy, you will go to the recovery room for 2 to 4 hours. You can usually do your normal activities the next day, but do not do any strenuous activity or exercise for about a week.

How It Feels

If general anesthesia is used, you will be asleep and feel nothing. After you wake up, you will feel sleepy for several hours. You may be tired and have some pain for a few days after a laparoscopy. You may have a mild sore throat from the tube in your throat to help you breathe. Use throat lozenges and gargle with warm salt water to help your sore throat.

If you have other types of anesthesia, you may have pain for a few days when the initial numbness wears off.

Risks

There is a small chance for problems from a laparoscopy.

  • Bleeding from the incisions
  • Infection
  • Damage to an organ or blood vessel. This may cause more bleeding that needs another surgery to repair.

A laparoscopy may not be done because of a higher chance for problems if you have:

  • Abdominal cancer.
  • An abdominal hernia.
  • Had abdominal surgeries in the past.

After the surgery

Right after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where nurses will care for and watch your vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level, and heart rate). You will stay in the recovery area for 2 to 4 hours, and then you will go home. Your nurse will explain any special instructions from your doctor. You will probably go home with a sheet of care instructions and who to call if you have a problem.

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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