FAQs on Laparoscopy in Los Angeles
A laparoscopy is a medical procedure used to detect and treat suspicious cysts, growths, and abnormal scar tissue. With the laparoscope, the doctor can see inside the uterus and detect abnormalities.
What happens before the laparoscopy?
Before undergoing a laparoscopy, your doctor will take a medical history and conduct a physical examination. You should discuss all medications you are taking with the doctor beforehand, as certain blood-thinning agents may be held for several days. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, and arrange to have someone drive you home. When you arrive at the medical facility, a nurse will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure, and have you sign a form of informed consent. After you change into a gown, the nurse will start an intravenous line in your hand or arm.
What happens during the laparoscopy procedure?
The procedure is done under general anesthesia, which is administered through your IV line. A nurse will position you on the procedure table and cleanse the abdomen with an antiseptic solution. A small incision is made near the belly button, and using a small needle, the abdominal cavity is filled with a special gas to give the doctor room to see the internal organs. The laparoscope is a small, thin tube with a light on it, and this is inserted into the incision.
The doctor will examine the region for fibroids, polyps, growths, adhesions, scar tissue, and cysts. Additionally, he looks at the color, size, and shape of the reproductive organs. Dye is injected into the cervix and fallopian tubes to see if they are patent (open). If necessary, small samples of tissue are taken (biopsies) for testing. After the scope is removed, the incision is closed with sutures and a bandage is applied.
How does the laparoscopy feel?
A specialist (anesthetist or anesthesiologist) administers anesthesia, so you will not experience any pain. An endotracheal tube is inserted to help with breathing during the procedure, so you may experience a mild sore throat after the procedure. This resolves within a few hours. The incision sites and lower abdomen will feel sore, especially if a lot of tissue has been removed. Because gas in inserted into the area, bloating is common. We recommend resting for 2-3 days after the procedure to fully recover.
What should I expect after the laparoscopy?
After the laparoscopy, expect to have some soreness of the surgical site. A nurse will monitor you for around 30 minutes. Do not get the incision wet, avoid soaking in a tub, and rest for the remainder of the day. Gradually return to normal activities. Most patients report cramping and mild vaginal bleeding for 1-3 days after the procedure. Alert the medical staff of any signs of infection, such as fever, vaginal discharge, and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
What complications are associated with the laparoscopy procedure?
While risks rarely occur, they include infection, adhesions, hematomas of the abdominal wall, and bleeding. Bladder infection and skin irritation at the incision site could also occur.
What do abnormal results mean?
Depending on what the doctor finds, results vary from patient to patient. Endometrial growths, fibroids, and adhesions are treated using laparoscopy, and blocked fallopian tubes can be opened. If an ectopic pregnancy is found, it can be removed, and damaged tissue can be repaired without removal of the entire fallopian tube.
Will I need fertility treatment after laparoscopy?
After the surgery, there will be a discussion about your pregnancy options. If the fallopian tubes are repaired or fibroids are removed, pregnancy may be likely without assisted reproductive technology. Fertility treatments are recommended when pregnancy does not occur within 6-9 months following this surgery.