Center for Pelvic Health, Navicent Health

Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery

Surgeons watch monitor while performing an advanced procedure

What is Advanced Laparoscopy Surgery?

Advanced laparoscopy is an open surgery where an incision is made in the skin of the abdomen. The incision can be up to several inches in length, but is usually no more than a 1/2 an inch in length. Advanced laparoscopic surgery is also known as minimally invasive surgery.

How is Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Performed?

When a surgeon performs laparoscopic surgery, he or she will use an instrument known as a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long, slim instrument that is administered into the abdomen after the surgeon makes the incision. The laparoscopic is attached to a tiny camera, which enables a surgeon with the ability to see the abdominal and pelvic organs on a television screen. When a surgeon needs to fix a problem with one of the organs, other instruments may be used as well. If there is a problem, then the instruments that are used can be inserted through the incision that was used to insert the laparoscope, which is known as a single site laparoscopy.

The Advantages of Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery

There are many advantages to this type of surgery. When a patient has advanced laparoscopic surgery, there will be less pain during recovery as opposed to open abdominal surgery. Patients who receive advanced laparoscopic surgery often recover faster than those who had open abdominal surgery, which is because the smaller incisions that are made during the procedure. Advanced laparoscopic surgery also results in smaller scars than open abdominal surgery, and this surgery decreases the risk for infection.

Risks Associated With Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery

Although laparoscopic surgery is safer than open abdominal surgery, it can take longer to perform. When a patient is under anesthesia for long periods of time, it can result in an increased risk for complications. With this type of surgery, complications may take a few days to a few weeks to appear. Other risks that are associated with advanced laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Blood vessel or organ damage
  • Infection

With any surgery, there are risks. Although there are risks associated with advanced laparoscopic surgery, it is considered a safer option than open abdominal surgery.

Reasons Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery is Performed

Advanced laparoscopic surgery can be used during tubal sterilization, and it is an option when a patient has a hysterectomy. When laparoscopic surgery is used for a hysterectomy, a surgeon will detach the uterus inside the body, which is then removed in pieces through the incisions.

Advanced laparoscopic surgery can also be used to determine what is causing pelvic pain or to examine and remove a pelvic mass. A surgeon can also perform advanced laparoscopic surgery to determine the cause of infertility. There are many other reasons why the surgery is performed, which include:

Fibroids

Fibroids are abnormal growths, which form inside or outside wall of the uterus. In most cases, fibroids are not cancerous (benign). However, there is a small chance fibroids are cancerous (malignant). Advanced laparoscopic surgery can be performed to remove fibroids.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts can develop on some women's ovaries. Although most cysts will go away naturally, there are instances where treatment needs to be administered to remove ovarian cysts. If ovarian cysts need to be removed, advanced laparoscopic surgery is a way to remove the cysts safely.

Endometriosis

When a patient has symptoms of endometriosis, advanced laparoscopic surgery may be performed if medications have not been an effective treatment. A surgeon will use a laparoscope to examine the inside of a patient's pelvis. If a surgeon finds endometriosis tissue, then it will be removed during the surgery.

Pelvic Floor Conditions

Advanced laparoscopic surgery may be advised as a treatment for urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Advanced laparoscopic surgery may be performed to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

Cancer

This type of surgery may also be performed to remove some types of cancer such as ovarian cancer.

What Happens After the Surgery?

When advanced laparoscopic surgery is complete, the tiny incisions will be closed. A patient will be moved to a recovery room and will usually feel sedated for one to two hours. Some patients may experience nausea, which is due to the anesthesia that was administered during the procedure. With many advanced laparoscopic surgeries, patients may leave the same day the procedure was performed. However, patients will need to remain under medical supervision until they have emptied their bladders and can stand up on their own. There are some advanced laparoscopic surgeries, which include a laparoscopic hysterectomy, that require patients stay in the hospital overnight.

After the surgery, patients can expect to feel tired and have moderate discomfort for a few days. There will be soreness where the incisions were made in the abdomen. Patients may also experience a sore throat because of the tube that was placed in the throat to help patients breathe during the procedure. Patients may also feed discomfort in their shoulders and back, which could be because a small amount of gas may remain in patient's abdomens for a few days after the surgery.

Although each patient's recovery is different, most individuals recovering from the procedure can resume minimal activities one to two days after the surgery. However, it will take longer for patients to begin strenuous activities. All patients should be sure to check with their doctor before resuming activities.