Laparoscopic surgery is a minor surgery done to identify the underlying cause of abdominal and pelvic pain. This surgical diagnostic technique is executed by making small incisions in the abdomen where a tube will be inserted. The surgeon will pump carbon dioxide through the tube to inflate the abdomen. Once inflated, a laparoscope is inserted through the tube.
It is performed when all other tests do not identify the cause of pain in the abdomen or pelvic region. It is usually done while the person is asleep under general anesthesia. In some instances, a laparoscopic surgery is done to remove an ovarian or tubal cyst.
How to prepare for a laparoscopic surgery? Below are some of the important reminders to keep in mind before the procedure:
- Prepare the hospital bag. The essentials include medical records and insurance card. In most cases, patients are allowed to go home a few hours after the surgery. But it is possible that the doctor would advise a patient to stay in the hospital for a few days. That depends on the results of the diagnosis. Pack the toiletries. Patients could also bring along a small pillow and some magazines or something to lay their eyes on. Patients will be asked to stay in bed after the surgery, so something that entertains them can be of great help. It is recommended to bring some peppermint tea, as it can help relieve the shoulder pain. Some also bring mints and gums to relieve the gas. Pack loose clothing. It will be needed after the surgery because the belly may be tender and bloated. Pack anything that will be comfortable to wear such as pajama, leggings, and loose-fitting trousers.
- Empty the stomach. A patient should not eat or drink anything 6 to 12 hours before the surgery. This is to reduce the risk of throwing up while a person is under anesthesia.
- Ask the health care provider about the meds the patient should or should not take before the procedure. Laparoscopy can be different for everyone. However, there are cases when doctors advise patients to stop taking certain medications prior to the surgery. For example, women are recommended to stop taking Continuous combination Estrogen/Progesterone pills five days before the surgery. Blood-thinning meds should also be avoided to prevent excessive bleeding during the operation.
- Find someone who can take care of the patient. Have someone who can drive the patient home and someone to look after them. It can be a bit difficult to move after the surgery so it’s best to have a buddy with them. Patients are advised to rest a lot afterward so it helps to have someone help with the medications.
- Discuss any fears with a doctor. It is normal to have some fears about surgery. By addressing fears, the surgeon could help in minimizing them. For example, if the patient is afraid of the pain, ask the surgeon what could be done to help ease it.
There are people who find laparoscopy terrifying. It happens especially to those who never had any surgery in the past. Any surgery can be threatening but the pain brought by laparoscopy is in fact, nothing serious. Many patients who underwent a laparoscopic surgery said it was not as bad as they thought it would be, so cheer up instead of worry about the outcome.