Laparoscopy and Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopy refers to a medical procedure where a laparoscope (a thin telescope with a light to illuminate), is inserted in your abdomen, usually through an incision in the skin.

Laparoscopy can be conducted to establish the source of an abdominal as well as pelvic pain or even a swelling in the abdomen or in the pelvic region. The procedure can be recommended for a better or clearer view especially if previous scans or X-rays have established a problem in the region.

Common conditions or problems that could be identified through laparoscopy include:

  • The pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Appendicitis
  • An tube pregnancy
  • Ovarian cyst

Laparoscopic surgery

In a laparoscopic surgery, also referred to as a minimally invasive procedure or a keyhole procedure, the physician can also pass some instruments through the incision. These might include a blade, tweezers, etc, to cut, grab, trim, etc, inside the abdomen through the incision.

Uses of a laparoscopic surgery

Some of the procedures conducted through laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Female sterilisation
  • Endometriosis patches removal
  • Appendix removal
  • Removal of some intestinal parts
  • Treatment of tube pregnancy
  • Conducting a biopsy of some abdominal parts to be examined under a microscope or have other tests done on them
  • Gallbladder removal, at times referred to as laparoscopic chelecystectomy, shortened as lap choly

Advantages of laparoscopic surgery over traditional surgery

  • There is usually less pain as compared to traditional surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery leaves a smaller scar
  • Minimal risks of complications
  • Laparoscopic surgery is accompanied by quicker recovery land hence a shorter stay at the hospital


Both laparoscopy and laparoscopic surgery are conducted under general anaesthesia and asleep. First, the abdomen is cleansed with surgical spirit, after which the physician makes an incision on the lower part of the abdomen, near the naval. In order to ease the access to the internal organs as well as the movement of a laparoscope (in the case of laparoscopy) and tools (in case of laparoscopic surgery, where another incision to the abdominal wall is made), some air is then blown into the belly to slightly “blow out” the abdominal wall.

Once the procedure is done, the laparoscope as well as all the other tools is retrieved after which the incision or incisions are stitched up and then dressed.

Pre-procedure preparation

Normally, the hospital will give you instructions on fasting, given that you will be put under a general anaesthetic. There however might be some additional instructions given, based on a patient’s reason for the operation. This information is usually availed to you by the physician.

What to do after a laparoscopy

It is normal to feel sore around the incision point, accompanied by a little and temporary pain at your tip of your shoulder. The pain is usually as a result of the gas that was pumped during the procedure. Since the shoulder tip share a nerve supply with the diaphragm, the gas pumped might irritate the diaphragm, hence the pain at the tip of the shoulder. The recovery time varies from one individual to another, and also on what procedures and operations done.

Are complications probable from laparoscopic procedures?

The answer to this question is yes. Though minor, there might be some bruising or bleeding in the region where the incision was done. In most cases however, the procedure is conducted and healing occur without a problem.

Possible problems that may occur from the procedure include:

  • A minor risk of complication of anaesthesia might occur, although this is also the case with other forms of surgery.
  • There always is a possibility of the incision point becoming infected, which will normally call for a course of antibiotics
  • There might be some accidental damage of nerve vessels or some internal organs although this occurrence is very rare. In the event of such, a conventional surgery is conducted to correct the damage.

It is worth noting that the risk of complications is relative to the operations conducted as well as an individual physical form.