Minimally Invasive Surgery: Laparoscopy

In laparoscopic surgery, a lighted instrument and small tools are inserted through small incisions to remove tissue and confirm a malignancy.

For cancers that appear to be confined to the ovary, a surgeon may be able to use the laparoscope to remove the tumor or tumors, depending on the size and location. A more extensive, open surgery may be avoided.

Depending on your overall condition and the complexity of your surgery, your lapararoscopy may be performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis. 

The procedure
  • The skin of the abdomen is cleansed, and sterile drapes are applied.
  • A small incision is made above or below the navel.
  • A needle is inserted into the incision and carbon dioxide gas is injected to elevate the abdominal wall, thereby creating a larger space to work in. This allows for easier viewing and manipulation of the organs.
  • The laparoscope allows passage of a tiny video camera into the abdomen. The camera is inserted so that the organs of the pelvis and abdomen can be examined.
  • Additional small incisions are made for instruments that allow the surgeon to move organs, cut tissue, suture, and staple structures as needed.
  • Following the examination, the laparoscope is then removed, the incisions are closed with sutures, and bandages are applied.
Following surgery
  • When you are awake, the surgeon will come by and talk with you about the surgery. Results from any biopsies will take a few days.
  • The incisions may be painful for several hours, but you'll be given a prescription for a pain reliever.
  • You may experience shoulder pain for a few days because the carbon dioxide gas used to inflate your abdomen can irritate your diaphragm, which shares some of the same nerves as the shoulder.
  • You may experience an increased urge to urinate, since the gas can put pressure on the bladder.
  • Depending on the procedure performed, you may be asked to avoid eating and drinking  for a period of time.

 

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