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What Is a Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly to look at the abdominal organs or the female pelvic organs. Usually reserved for women suffering from infections, infertility, and pain, a laparoscopy can also be used to help diagnose various injuries and diseases in men as well. Laparoscopy is used to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids, and infection. Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy through the tube (laparoscope).

Who Requires a Laparoscopy?

A laparoscopy may be done to find the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or swelling of the abdomen or pelvic region. If you have constant pain or swelling in your pelvis area not corrected by medicines, a laparoscopy may be required to diagnose the problem. When X-rays and scans do not help in diagnosing the problem, a direct view into your pelvic and abdomen area is necessary.

What Happens in a Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy and laparoscopic surgery are usually done whilst you are asleep under general anesthesia. The skin over the abdomen is cleaned. The surgeon or gynecologist then makes a small incision (cut) about 1-2cm long near to the navel (belly button). The surgeon will inflate your tummy with carbon dioxide gas to provide a good view of the pelvic internals. Scrapings of tissues (biopsies) in the womb wall may also be taken. The whole procedure takes about twenty minutes, and you can leave the hospital the same day. Your healthcare provider will supply painkillers for the mild pain or discomfort you may experience in the stomach. You will need to wear sanitary pads for a few days due to slight vaginal bleeding, and you should rest for at least six hours after the procedure. You will be able to resume all regular activities after one week.

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