At Craig Ranch OBGYN, our physicians utilize the latest treatment techniques to help patients return to normal activities as quickly as possible. Cutting-edge treatment options such as laparoscopic procedures enable us to conduct care in the most minimally-invasive way. In turn, our patients obtain the care they need to regain peace of mind about their health and wellness.
What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a type of minimally-invasive surgical technique. It is characterized by multiple small incisions rather than the larger incision made for open surgeries. Laparoscopic procedures can be conducted through these tiny incisions because they involve closed observation of the surgical field. This is achieved with a small camera on the end of a thin tube. The image of the surgical field is displayed on a screen observed by the surgeon throughout the procedure. Observing the screen, the surgeon is able to navigate small instruments through additional incisions as needed to repair or remove tissue.
What Conditions Are Treated With Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pelvic pain, a pelvic mass, and infertility. Some of the conditions for which this technique may be recommended include:
- Fibroids. Fibroids are typically benign growths that develop on the lining of the uterus. Fibroids may exist either inside the uterus or on the outside wall, where they cause heavy menstruation and/or pain.
- Endometriosis. This condition, in which the endometrium, or inner lining of the uterus, grows on the outside.
- Ectopic pregnancy. When a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, life-threatening complications can occur. Laparoscopic surgery may be performed to remove the egg.
- Pelvic floor disorders, including conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
- Ovarian cysts may need to be surgically removed if they do not go away on their own.
- Certain gynecological cancers can be removed using laparoscopic technique.
What Are the Benefits of Laparoscopic Surgery?
There are several benefits obtained with laparoscopic surgery. These include:
- Minimally invasive technique incurs small incisions.
- Laparoscopic procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis.
- Recovery from laparoscopic procedures is generally shorter than open surgery techniques.
- Scarring from laparoscopic surgery is minimal.
- Risk of infection is reduced when smaller incisions are made.
How Can I Prepare for Surgery?
There is very little preparation needed for pelvic laparoscopic surgery. We provide detailed instructions regarding when you need to stop eating and drinking, what medications you may need to stop or start taking, and other guidelines. If you have questions as your surgery date arrives, please contact our office. We’re happy to assist you.
How Is Laparoscopic Surgery Performed?
Laparoscopic surgery may be conducted in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. The procedure is performed using general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has been administered, a small incision is made in the abdomen. The abdominal cavity is then filled with gas. This enables the surgeon to accurately observe pelvic and reproductive organs.
The laparoscope that holds the tiny camera is inserted through the abdominal incision. An image of the pelvic area is displayed on a screen. If repair or removal of tissue is needed, another abdominal incision is made. Surgical instruments are inserted through this incision to perform the necessary treatment.
Laparoscopic surgery may last an hour or more depending on the extent of treatment needed. After the procedure is completed, the initial recovery takes place in the surgical center. Patients are observed and monitored until the anesthesia wears off enough for them to stand on their own. They may then be driven home by a loved one.
Is There a Recovery After Laparoscopic Surgery?
Women treated with laparoscopic surgery typically return home with stitches or Steri-strips. Depending on what the surgeon inserts, stitches may need to be removed a few days after surgery. Sometimes, sutures are absorbable. Patients are informed of the type of closure used during their procedure and are scheduled as needed for their appropriate follow-up.
Bandages used to cover incisions may be removed 1 to 2 days after surgery. If strips are used, they may fall off over the course of several days. It is important to keep incisions clean but not necessary to rub them with soap or apply any ointments or creams to them.
It is normal for pain or numbness to occur around incisions. Patients may also experience discomfort around incisions as well as internally, where tissue has been manipulated. This may feel like bloating or cramping. Women who undergo laparoscopic surgery may also notice shoulder pain for up to one week after their procedure. These types of discomfort relate to gas buildup in the intestines as well as the effects of filling the abdominal cavity with gas during surgery.
During recovery from laparoscopic surgery, medication can be taken as needed and as directed to manage comfort. If pain is minimal or does not develop, it is not necessary to take medication as a form of prevention.
Risks of Laparoscopic Surgery
There are minor risks associated with laparoscopic surgery, including:
- Complications related to anesthesia
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to an organ or blood vessel
“This office is awesome! All the Doctors are so caring and really take their time with their patients. They addressed all my concerns and I did not feel rushed at all. The office is beautiful and so clean. The office staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. I could tell they all enjoy their jobs. I highly recommend Craig Ranch OB/GYN.”
“I LOVE this practice! I was referred to Craig Ranch OBGyn after having a terrible experience with a botched procedure at a different practice. I have regularly seen both Dr. Robert and Dr. Baidwan and they are both just amazing! They are very friendly, very knowledgeable and very good at their jobs. The front office staff is so friendly too, and I’ve loved the nurses as well. I always look forward to my visits, I know I’m going to be well taken care of.”