What Is Uterus Laparoscopic Surgery? How Is It Performed?


Laparoscopy is one of the new surgical methods that has been used for the treatment of many diseases over the past 20 to 30 years. Due to the minimal scarring during surgery, laparoscopy is considered a practical and safe method. This surgery is performed in women to address various issues, including uterine laparoscopy and ovarian laparoscopy. In addition to its diagnostic application, this procedure serves as a method for treating internal diseases and disorders. It is often performed in the pelvis and the abdominal regions. However, it is crucial to be aware of short-term and long-term the side effects of laparoscopic surgery, including laparoscopic surgery recovery time, and patients should consult with their healthcare providers to gain a comprehensive understanding of potential outcomes and risks associated with the procedure.

Laparoscopic Surgery

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

In laparoscopic surgery, also known as keyhole surgery, it is possible to treat a disease with only a small incision without the need to open the abdomen for deep surgeries. For this purpose, a small incision is made in the abdominal area, and a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera at its end) is inserted into the internal regions of the abdomen and pelvis. This allows for diagnostic examinations or surgical procedures to be performed without needing a larger incision and the associated complications of open surgery. So, why is laparoscopic surgery done? It offers reduced pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and less scarring compared to traditional open surgery methods.

The application of laparoscopy surgery in women's diseases is more than in other cases and is widely used for the treatment of ovarian or uterine problems. To perform laparoscopic surgery on the uterus and ovaries, a small incision must be made below the navel, and the device is inserted into the body to examine female organs. This procedure is used for the removal of the uterus in women (hysterectomy). The recovery period for laparoscopic hysterectomy is often shorter than for abdominal hysterectomy, and the choice between them is based on the doctor's diagnosis.

Ovaries and Uterus Laparoscopy Surgery

How Is Laparoscopic Surgery Performed?

Despite its minimal invasion, laparoscopy surgery is performed in a hospital setting by a skilled medical team. General anesthesia is typically administered, occasionally complemented by spinal or epidural anesthesia.

Patient Positioning and Duration:

  • During the procedure, the patient assumes a head-down and legs-up position. The surgery lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours.
  • The patient's physical condition must be considered in assessing susceptibility to respiratory, vascular, and other internal issues.

Preparation and Initial Steps:

  • Intravenous fluids or medications are administered.
  • A breathing tube is placed into the patient's mouth.

Incisions and Carbon Dioxide Gas:

  • One to three small incisions are made around the navel area.
  • Carbon dioxide gas is introduced to fill the abdomen, moving the intestines away for better visualization.

Instrument Introduction and Procedures:

  • Surgical instruments are introduced into the body.
  • The laparoscope examines organs, allowing for tissue sampling (biopsy) or disease treatment, potentially using laser-equipped laparoscopes.
  • The physician manually controls the laparoscope to monitor details on a monitor.

Closure and Recovery:

  • After releasing carbon dioxide gas, the surgical site is sutured and bandaged.
  • Due to small incisions, rapid recovery occurs within a short period.
  • The minimum duration of laparoscopic surgery is approximately 30 to 90 minutes, potentially longer for complex conditions.

Post-Procedure Care and Discharge:

  • The patient is transferred to the recovery unit.
  • Depending on anesthesia type and individual response, hospital discharge is possible after 2 to 4 hours.
  • Laparoscopy is often an outpatient procedure, with discharge on the same day.



Sometimes, a 1.5 cm incision may be made on the right or left side to insert another camera for enhanced examination. Additionally, various tools such as forceps and scissors are used for treatment alongside examination and diagnosis. Consider that mild shoulder pain and abdominal discomfort are usual for the first 7 days following surgery.

How Is Laparoscopic Surgery Performed?

What Are the Differences Between Diagnostic and Operative Laparoscopy?

Sometimes, laparoscopy is used to identify the causes of infertility and internal body issues, referred to as diagnostic laparoscopy. Diagnostic laparoscopy is one of the stages in the examination and treatment of infertility. It is employed when non-invasive tests such as ultrasonography (USG) or hysterosalpingography (HSG) cannot detect abnormalities and the cause of diseases.

Considering that diagnostic laparoscopy allows for a systematic examination of the anatomy of the pelvis, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and surrounding structures, it is advised for women with recurrent miscarriages or unexplained infertility. Furthermore, a significant part of the laparoscopic process is related to the investigation of blockages in the fallopian tubes, which is the major cause of fertility problems.

A contrast medium can be introduced from the uterine cavity using specialized instruments to diagnose tube blockages. By tracing the flow of this colored fluid in the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes while imaging them, points of blockage or adhesions can be observed. 

However, it should be noted that this method is not comprehensive, and it does not include the advantages and applications of diagnostic laparoscopy. In about 18% of cases where it confirms the absence of blockage, other methods, such as HSG, can still detect external blockages and adhesions in the tubes.

Applications of Laparoscopic Surgery

The applications of laparoscopic surgery have revolutionized the field of medicine, offering minimally invasive solutions for a diverse range of conditions. This advanced surgical technique has been widely applied in various medical specialties, transforming traditional procedures and significantly enhancing patient outcomes. Herein, we'll explore the applications as follows:

  • Performing biopsy or tissue sampling from internal body tissues;
  • Removal of abnormal and harmful tissues such as endometriosis (thickening of the uterine wall) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy);
  • Root cause analysis of certain symptoms;
  • Extraction of lymph nodes and other similar tissues;
  • Removal of a portion or entire ovaries and fallopian tubes as diagnosed by a physician;
  • Complete or partial removal of the uterus or damaged parts (hysterectomy);
  • Aid in diagnosing other diseases;
  • Treatment of ovarian cysts (cystectomy) and any abnormal masses in internal reproductive organs;
  • Removal of cancerous tumors in the uterus and ovaries, as well as any harmful tumors in the pelvic and abdominal regions;
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancies;
  • Identification and treatment of chronic and abnormal pain in the pelvic area;
  • Diagnosis of certain fertility issues;
  • Sampling of eggs for use in the IVF process. 


Applications of Laparoscopic Surgery

Which Individuals Are Unable to Perform Ovarian and Uterine Laparoscopy?

Individuals meeting the following conditions cannot undergo laparoscopic surgery of the uterus and ovaries:

  1. Menopausal women;
  2. Individuals with severe obesity;
  3. Those with heart and lung diseases;
  4. Women with a history of abdominal surgery.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a relatively modern technique that offers numerous benefits and advantages compared to other open surgical procedures, including:

  • Minimal and narrow incisions compared to other open surgeries;
  • Effectiveness in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases;
  • Brief laparoscopic surgery recovery time and short hospital stays;
  • Minimal risks and complications;
  • Higher safety levels;
  • Reduced postoperative pain;
  • Lower likelihood of infection after surgery;
  • Preservation of the natural appearance of the abdomen due to small and fewer incisions;
  • Capability for more precise and better surgical procedures;
  • Decreased risk of hernia;
  • No adhesion.

The Use of Uterine Laparoscopy for Diagnosing Infertility

As mentioned, uterine laparoscopy is a minimally invasive and straightforward surgical procedure that through small incisions, aids in diagnosing and treating various causes of female infertility, including ovarian cysts, fibroids, adhesions, infections, and endometriosis. This method is applicable in cases where the cause of infertility is not determined through hysteroscopy or other tests. It helps remove additional and hazardous tissues.

During the use of uterine laparoscopy for diagnosing and treating the causes of infertility, actions such as sampling tissues from the ovaries and uterus, examining and treating infections and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), opening the fallopian tubes, and more are typically performed.

The Use of Uterine Laparoscopy for Diagnosing Infertility

How Long Can You Get Pregnant After Laparoscopy?

The possibility of pregnancy after undergoing a uterine laparoscopy procedure is very high. Usually, within a year after the surgery, there is a chance of fertility. However, couples should be informed about the complete recovery of the woman before attempting pregnancy to ensure a successful and healthy natural conception.

Preparations and Precautions Before Laparoscopy:

Before performing laparoscopic surgery, it is necessary to take precautionary measures and provide proper care, which encompasses the following:

  • Obtain sufficient information and recommendations from the doctor or the nurse;
  • Avoid eating and drinking for 12 hours before laparoscopy surgery;
  • Arrive on time on the day of the surgery (about 1 to 2 hours before the scheduled surgery time) ;
  • Remove contact lenses, glasses, and jewelry before the operation;
  • Take bowel-clearing medications as instructed by the doctor a few hours or a day before laparoscopy;
  • Undergo necessary tests and checks such as CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, and blood and urine tests;
  • Inform the doctor about medications, supplements, over-the-counter pain relievers, and herbal remedies being taken;
  • Inform the doctor in case of any substance use;
  • Schedule uterine laparoscopy after the completion of the menstrual cycle;
  • Stop using blood-thinning medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and warfarin as per the doctor's instructions;
  • Avoid smoking in the days before and after the surgery;
  • Take essential medications with a minimal amount of water on the night before laparoscopy;
  • Bring comfortable clothing and personal hygiene items such as pads, and avoid wearing tight clothes;
  • Empty the bladder 1 hour before the operation.

It is important to note that individuals should inform their doctor of conditions such as abdominal hernia, drug allergies, cancer in any abdominal organ, pregnancy or the possibility of pregnancy, history of abdominal surgery, and other relevant information before undergoing laparoscopy surgery.

the Pros and Cons of Laparoscopy

What Is the Distinction Between Laparoscopy and Open Surgery?

Contrasting open surgeries, diagnosis, and treatment are performed in laparoscopic surgery without direct manual intervention and solely with precise and delicate instruments. Unlike open surgery, laparoscopic surgery does not require large abdominal incisions; creating only a few small holes is sufficient. Additionally, laparoscopy allows the visualization of internal organs through a camera and on a monitor, enabling more precise and detailed surgical procedures.

Laparoscopy Aftercare and Recovery Period

Completing the recovery period after laparoscopy and following certain measures and care helps the patient recover as quickly as possible. Following the surgery, the patient undergoes medical care, and vital signs such as body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate are monitored. Additionally, understanding and adhering to recommended post-operative measures can significantly impact laparoscopic surgery recovery time. Some postoperative measures that the individual should take after laparoscopy include:

  • Avoid excessive activity and exercising for up to one week;
  • Avoid strenuous activities for 1 to 2 days and taking work leave;
  • Refrain from lifting heavy objects for 3 weeks;
  • Take prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics to prevent potential infections;
  • Wash and dry the incision areas with water, soap, and a suitable towel;
  • Avoid driving within 24 hours after the surgery;
  • Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after the surgery;
  • Abstain from sexual activity for one week;
  • Consume light and nutritious foods.


Laparoscopy Aftercare and Recovery Period

What Are the Risks and Complications of Laparoscopy?

The individual may experience skin damage and bladder infection if laparoscopy is performed. They might also feel brief pain at the incision sites, which can be alleviated with prescribed pain relievers. However, in rare cases, the following laparoscopic surgery side effects have been reported:

  • Nerve damage;
  • Allergic reactions;
  • Injury to adjacent organs such as the bladder, liver, and intestines;
  • Blood clotting;
  • Some urinary problems;
  • Bleeding and damage to abdominal blood vessels;
  • Bloating and abdominal discomfort for a few days due to the injection of carbon dioxide gas;
  • Throat swelling caused by the insertion of a breathing tube during surgery;
  • Shoulder and neck pain (treatable with pain relievers or lying on the side).


Sex After Laparoscopy

After a uterine laparoscopy, it is advisable to abstain from sexual intercourse for at least one week or preferably 3 to 5 days. If you observe post-coital bleeding, pain during intimacy, prolonged and heavy vaginal discharge, or the discharge of fluid and blood from suture sites, you should inform your doctor.

In general, uterine laparoscopy may delay menstruation, although bleeding similar to menstruation can occur in the days following the procedure, sometimes lasting up to three weeks. It is recommended to perform uterine laparoscopy between the seventh and tenth days before ovulation. Usually, if there are no specific complications, ovulation proceeds as usual, but a menstrual cycle disruption is possible.

It's worth noting that irregularities in the menstrual cycle can be attributed to post-surgery stress, concerns, or hormonal changes. Sometimes, the menstrual period may be delayed by up to 40 days, and the first menstruation after uterine laparoscopy is typically short and brief.

When to Visit a Doctor After Laparoscopy?

If the following symptoms are observed after laparoscopy, it is important to consult a doctor or report these symptoms to a gynecologist:

  • Severe vaginal bleeding;
  • Excessive bleeding from the incision sites;
  • Fever and chills;
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath;
  • Redness and discharge from the surgical wounds;
  • Vomiting;
  • Severe or worsening abdominal pain.


Conclusion

In conclusion, laparoscopy stands as a transformative force in modern medicine, redefining the landscape of surgical interventions across diverse medical domains. Its minimally invasive approach has not only revolutionized traditional procedures but has also brought about significant benefits such as reduced recovery times, minimal scarring, and enhanced patient well-being.

From gynecological and urological surgeries to interventions in the abdominal and pelvic regions, laparoscopic techniques continue to offer precision and efficacy. Laparoscopy's versatility and wide-ranging applications underscore its pivotal role in advancing patient care and shaping the future of surgical practices. As technology and methodologies evolve, laparoscopic surgery remains at the forefront, continually pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in the realm of medical innovation.

FAQs

1. How does laparoscopy differ from traditional open surgery?

Unlike traditional open surgery, which requires large incisions, laparoscopy utilizes small incisions, resulting in reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, minimal scarring, less pain, shorter recovery times, and decreased risk of complications such as infection and blood loss.

2. What are the common procedures performed using laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is used for a wide range of procedures across various medical specialties, including gynecology (e.g., hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal), urology (e.g., kidney removal, prostate surgery), gastroenterology (e.g., gallbladder removal, appendectomy), and general surgery (e.g., hernia repair, bariatric surgery).

3. Who is a candidate for laparoscopic surgery?

Many patients are suitable candidates for laparoscopic surgery, but eligibility depends on factors such as the specific medical condition, overall health, and individual anatomy. Your healthcare provider will assess your suitability for laparoscopy and discuss the benefits and risks based on your circumstances.

4. What are the benefits of laparoscopic surgery?

The benefits of laparoscopy include smaller incisions, reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, improved cosmetic outcomes due to minimal scarring, and decreased risk of complications such as infections and hernias.

5. Are there any risks associated with laparoscopic surgery?

While laparoscopy is generally considered safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries certain risks, including bleeding, infection, organ injury, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. However, the overall risk of complications is typically lower compared to traditional open surgery.

6. What questions should I ask my surgeon before undergoing laparoscopic surgery?

Before undergoing laparoscopic surgery, it's essential to ask your surgeon about the specific procedure, including its purpose, risks, benefits, alternative treatment options, expected recovery time, and any postoperative care instructions. Additionally, you may inquire about the surgeon's experience and success rate with similar procedures.

7. How long does a laparoscopic procedure typically last?

The duration of a laparoscopic procedure varies depending on the type and complexity of the surgery. Some procedures may take only 30 minutes to an hour, while others may require several hours to complete. Your surgeon will provide an estimate of the expected duration based on your specific case.

8. Will I need general anesthesia for laparoscopic surgery?

In most cases, laparoscopic surgery is performed under general anesthesia to ensure that you remain unconscious and pain-free throughout the procedure. However, in certain situations, regional anesthesia or conscious sedation may be used instead. Your anesthesia provider will discuss the options with you before surgery and address any concerns you may have.

9. Are there any dietary restrictions before laparoscopic surgery?

Your healthcare provider may recommend dietary restrictions before laparoscopic surgery to reduce the risk of complications during the procedure. This may include fasting for a certain period before surgery or avoiding specific foods and beverages. It's essential to follow these instructions closely to ensure a safe and successful outcome.

10. Can laparoscopic surgery be performed on pregnant women?

Laparoscopic surgery may be performed on pregnant women in certain cases, but it carries additional risks and considerations due to the potential impact on both the mother and the fetus. Your healthcare provider will carefully evaluate the risks and benefits and discuss the best course of action for your specific situation.

11. Is laparoscopic surgery covered by insurance?

In many cases, laparoscopic surgery is covered by health insurance plans, but coverage may vary depending on factors such as the type of procedure, your insurance provider, and your individual policy. It's essential to check with your insurance company beforehand to understand your coverage and any potential out-of-pocket expenses.



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