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What You Need to Know about Laparoscopic Procedures

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Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive, surgical diagnostic procedure that uses laparoscopy equipment to examine the different organs located inside the abdomen. One of the biggest benefits of a laparoscopic procedure is that it only requires a couple of small incisions to insert the necessary instruments.

Laparoscopy procedures use a specialized instrument called a laparoscope in order to look at the abdominal organs. This particular instrument is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and high-resolution camera located on the front end. Once inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall, the camera sends images back to a video monitor, allowing the doctor to see what is going on inside the body in real time. This allows doctors to obtain biopsy samples without traditional surgery.

Why is Laparoscopy Performed?

Often, laparoscopy procedures are performed to identify and diagnose the source of abdominal or pelvic pain. When noninvasive methods are unable to diagnose, most physicians will order a laparoscopic procedure to determine a diagnosis. In most instances, traditional imaging techniques, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan can determine a diagnosis. When these methods don’t provide adequate information, a laparoscopy is performed.

Laparoscopic procedures are performed to examine the following organs more closely:

  • Appendix
  • Gallbladder
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Small Intestine and Large Intestine (Colon)
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Pelvic or Reproductive Organs

Through laparoscopic observation of these organs, doctors are able to detect different conditions, some of which include:

  • Abdominal Mass or Tumor
  • Fluid in the Abdominal Cavity
  • Liver Disease
  • The Effectiveness of Certain Treatments
  • The Degree to Which a Particular Cancer has Progressed

In addition to helping with diagnostics, doctors are able to perform interventions to help treat current conditions immediately following diagnosis.

Risk Associated with Laparoscopic Procedures

As with all other surgical procedures, there are risks associated with laparoscopic procedures. The most common risks associated with laparoscopic include bleeding, infection, and damage to the organs in the abdomen. While these are possible, they are rare.

Following any laparoscopic procedure, it is important to watch for possible signs of infection. If a patient experiences any of the following symptoms, they must contact a doctor:

  • Fevers or chills
  • Abdominal pain that becomes more Intense over time
  • Redness, swelling, bleeding or drainage at the incision site
  • Continuous nausea or vomiting
  • Persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to urinate
  • Lightheadedness

Even with all the risks, laparoscopic is still a relatively safe procedure that can provide valuable information for treatment and diagnostics. This type of procedure is possible with the assistance of laparoscopy equipment. Laparoscopic procedures are a safer alternative to traditional surgery and other medical procedures used for diagnostics.