What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopic procedures are those that utilize a small device attached to light and camera and inserts it into the body through a small incision. The camera allows the general surgeon to have a clear image of the organs. Diseases of the pelvis, abdominal surgeries, gynaecological procedures, urinary bladder and many others can be diagnosed and treated through laparoscopy.
However, both open surgery and laparoscopy come with their own advantages and disadvantages, and they should be kept in mind before the procedure.
Common reasons for laparoscopy:
There are many procedures for which laparoscopy can be done, these include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Urinary incontinence
- Removal of fibroids
- Removal of ovarian cysts
- Ectopic pregnancy
Advantages of laparoscopy:
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. It does not include long incisions on the body, as it can be performed through small incisions. Compared to traditional surgery, laparoscopy is less painful and more comfortable for the patient.
Many hospitals discharge patients with laparoscopic procedures earlier than those with open surgeries, sometimes even a day after. This is mostly because the smaller incisions in laparoscopy take lesser time to heal. Moreover, patients can resume their regular activities much sooner as compared to open procedures.
From an operating point of view, there is less risk of bleeding during surgery in laparoscopy procedures. The operating field is thus much clearer and the need for transfusion arises rarely. Furthermore, the risk of contamination of organs due to exposure to air is greatly reduced in laparoscopic procedures.
For patients who are worried about surgical scars, a laparoscopy is a great option as it includes small incisions. These incisions heal early and do not leave behind an unsightly scar as well.
Disadvantages of laparoscopy:
Laparoscopy also has its own set of disadvantages as well. These include:
Specialist training for the performing surgeon, as this procedure cannot be performed by every surgeon. The additional training is needed to get used to the equipment and the plane of surgery—from a three-dimensional operating field, there is a shift to the two-dimensional one.
Moreover, laparoscopy needs special equipment, most of which is very expensive, and not every hospital has it available. The cost containment of laparoscopic procedures is higher and therefore it is not offered by every hospital.
Lastly, a big consideration when it comes to laparoscopy is that it cannot be performed on every patient. Many patients do not qualify for this procedure because they may have a more complicated disease or their surgeon could prefer to opt for an open incision due to unclear anatomy. This is especially important for people who have undergone previous surgeries and could have a lot of scar tissue from older operations. In the latter, the surgeon would prefer to have an open procedure for safer operation.
The decision to opt for a laparoscopic procedure or not is a personal one and should be taken by keeping the pros and cons in mind. Additionally, you should discuss the options with your surgeon to have a clearer idea of the procedure.
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