Definition of laparoscopy
As a diagnostic method, it is mainly used for unclear abdominal complaints and when other examinations such as ultrasound or computer tomography did not provide any information. Laparoscopy is a minimally stressful (minimally invasive) procedure that takes place under general anesthesia. Depending on the scope of the examination, the laparoscopy is performed on an outpatient basis or in a hospital and takes about 10 to 30 minutes.
Application Examples For Laparoscopy
- For women who want to have children, check the patency of the fallopian tubes as well as for sterilization.
- Examination of the liver, pancreas, spleen, and uterus as well as the stomach and intestines.
- Taking tissue samples for microscopic examination (biopsy) to assess whether a tumor is benign or malignant.
- Testicle search
- Removal of the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy)
- Removal of kidney cysts
- Removal of the appendix from the appendix (laparoscopic appendectomy) in appendicitis
- Removal of the uterus (laparoscopic hysterectomy)
- Removal of fibroids and islets of endometriosis in endometriosis (growths of the uterine lining)
- Inguinal hernia surgery
- Cutting the branches of the 10th cranial nerve (vagus nerve) to reduce gastric acid production in gastric and duodenal ulcers
- Creation of an artificial intestinal outlet (anus praeter).
The course of the laparoscopy
General anesthesia is necessary for laparoscopy. So that the doctor has space and an overview of the abdomen, carbon dioxide is first filled into the abdomen as a gas through a small skin incision with a hollow needle. The laparoscope (instrument with light source and camera) and surgical instruments (e.g. suction devices or forceps) are inserted through further small incisions in the abdominal wall. The camera transmits the recordings to the monitor so that the surgical team can see what is happening in the abdominal cavity.
In order to minimize complications, you should inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and previous surgeries before the laparoscopy.
After the laparoscopy
You are often allowed to leave the hospital or practice shortly after a laparoscopy. On the day of the operation, it is better not to drive yourself. Use public transport. Better yet, have someone pick you up or take a taxi.
It is generally recommended that you remain under observation for a few hours after the laparoscopy. During this and afterward, you should rest, lie in bed, and, if possible, sleep. A mild pain reliever, such as an agent with the active ingredient ibuprofen, can help against pressure pain in the abdomen. As a rule, the attending physician will give you a recommendation or even give you the medication.
Side Effects Of Laparoscopy
The side effects of laparoscopy can include:
- Nausea, headache, exhaustion as a result of anesthesia
- Tenderness and bruising on the abdomen
- Pain in the shoulders and pelvis
- Injuries to surrounding organs are very rare.
Coverage of the Laparoscopy
Not all reasons (indications) for laparoscopy are a health insurance benefit. If the doctor has a prescription (i.e. for every medically necessary procedure), the costs are usually covered.