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Laparoscopic Instruments Being Placed in the Abdomen  
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Definition  

Laparoscopy is a type of surgery done through several small incisions in the abdomen. Small tools and a laparoscope with a tiny camera, are placed through the incisions to allow the surgeon to see inside the belly and perform surgical tasks. This type of surgery is popular, because it usually shortens recovery time. It also leaves small scars in most cases.

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Reasons for Procedure  

Many types of surgery can now be done with a laparoscope. Some examples include:

It can also be done to help make a diagnosis.

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Possible Complications  

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to blood vessels or organs
  • Problems related to anesthesia
  • The need for open surgery rather than laparoscopic surgery

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

Depending on the reason for your surgery, your doctor may do the following:

In the days leading up to your procedure:

  • Depending on the type of surgery, you may need to take a laxative or use an enema.
  • Arrange for a ride home.
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.

Talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking. Up to one week before the procedure, you may be asked to stop taking some medications.

Anesthesia  

Most commonly, you will have general anesthesia. You will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure  

After you are asleep and do not feel any pain, a needle will be inserted to inject carbon dioxide into your abdomen. The gas will make your abdomen expand. This will make it easier to see the organs. The laparoscope will then be inserted through a small hole that is cut in the skin. The laparoscope lights, magnifies, and projects an image onto a video screen. The area will then be inspected.

If necessary, several other incisions will be made in the abdomen. Tiny tools will be inserted to take biopsies or do surgery. The incisions will be closed with stitches or clips.

How Long Will It Take?