Laparoscopy, or diagnostic laparoscopy, is a surgical procedure used to examine the organs inside the abdomen. It’s a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions.
Laparoscopy involves an instrument called a laparoscope to look at the abdominal organs. It is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall. The camera sends images to a video monitor.
Laparoscopy allows your doctor to see inside your body in real-time without open surgery. Your doctor can also obtain biopsy samples during this procedure.
Why is laparoscopy performed?
Laparoscopy is often used to identify and diagnose pelvic or abdominal pain sources. It’s usually performed when non-invasive methods are unable to help with diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend a laparoscopy to examine the following organs:
- Small intestine and large intestine (colon)
- Pelvic or reproductive organs
Laparoscopy can help detect an abdominal mass, a tumour, fluid in the abdominal cavity, liver disease, the effectiveness of certain treatments, and the degree to which particular cancer has progressed. Treatment can commence immediately after diagnosis.
Types of laparoscopy
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (Gall bladder removal)
- Laparoscopic appendectomy
- Laparoscopic splenetomy
- Laparoscopic myomectomy
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy (Fibroid removal)
What are the risks of laparoscopy?
Bleeding, infection and damage to organs in your abdomen are the most common risks of laparoscopy.
Signs to watch out for if you had a laparoscopy surgery in Nigeria
If you experience or notice the following, it is important to contact your healthcare provider.
- Fevers or chills
- Abdominal pain that becomes more intense over time
- Redness, swelling, bleeding, or drainage at the incision sites
- Continuous nausea or vomiting
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to urinate
How is laparoscopy performed?
Laparoscopy is usually done as an outpatient procedure. This means you can go home on the same day as your surgery. It may be performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgical centre.
During a laparoscopy, the surgeon makes an incision below your belly button and inserts a small cannula tube. The cannula is used to inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. This gas allows your doctor to see your abdominal organs more clearly.
After the procedure is done, the instruments are removed. Your incisions are then closed with stitches or surgical tape. Bandages may be placed over the incisions.
How long does it take to recover from laparoscopy?
When the surgery is over, you’ll be observed for several hours before release. Your vital signs, such as your breathing and heart rate, will be monitored closely.
The hospital staff will also check for any adverse reactions to the anaesthesia or the procedure and monitor for prolonged bleeding.
The timing of your release will vary. It depends on the following:
Your overall physical condition, the type of anaesthesia used and your body’s reaction to the surgery. In some cases, you may have to remain in the hospital overnight.
To ensure a smoother recovery;
Begin light activity as soon as possible to reduce your blood clot risk. Get more sleep than you normally do. Use throat lozenges to ease the pain of a sore throat. Wear loose-fitting clothes.
How much does a laparoscopy cost in Nigeria?
You can either go to a private or government-owned hospital. The price range for this surgery starts from 400,000 to 1 million naira.
Few hospitals perform this surgery because of the machine's cost, the surgery's delicacy, and the scarcity of laparoscopy surgeons in Nigeria.