Minimally-invasive surgery techniques are useful for a number of gynecological conditions, including ovarian cysts, some problems associated with endometriosis, tubal ligation, and even hysterectomy. While these procedures used to involve traditional open surgery, technological advancements have changed that. Now, laparoscopic surgery has become commonplace for these issues and others.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive technique that has taken the place of traditional open surgery in many areas of medicine, including gynecology and urogynecology. Laparoscopic techniques may also be used for diagnosis. This kind of surgery has many advantages for the patient, including far less recovery time, less pain and discomfort following surgery, less scarring, and less trauma to the body overall. In laparoscopic surgery, there is no need for large incisions. Rather, small incisions are made to allow the camera — the laparoscope — to be inserted into the body. This tool allows your surgeon to see inside your body and determine what needs to be done surgically. Other incisions are used for any other surgical tools that your surgeon needs to perform your procedure and take care of the problem being treated.
Laparoscopic surgery is still surgery, which means you will have to do some preparation. Most procedures can be done right in the comfort of our office, so there is rarely need for a hospital stay. Dr. Thomas will go over your specific concerns and what you need to do to prepare, but there are some general guidelines that will be followed.
First, it is important that you arrange for a ride to and from your surgery. Even though this is a minimally-invasive technique, general anesthesia is likely to be used, so you will be unable to drive yourself. It is also likely that you will be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for eight hours prior to your procedure; you may also be asked to temporarily avoid certain medications or supplements as part of your preparation. This is especially important for anyone who takes blood thinners, in order to decrease the bleeding during your surgery.
Many laparoscopic surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will be able to go home once you awake from the anesthesia, and your surgeon checks to make sure you are recovered enough to leave the surgical center.
When it comes to post-operative recovery, the actual length of time needed can vary depending on the type of surgery. Bedrest will be necessary so that your body can begin to heal correctly and to decrease any risk of infection or any reopening of the surgical incisions. You will be advised on all aspects of post-operative care, including how to check incisions and change bandages (if needed), your follow-up appointment schedule, medication to take after surgery (such as medications for pain management or antibiotics to help prevent infection), and when you can begin to resume normal activities. For those patients who are involved in more strenuous activities, such as certain forms of exercise or labor-intensive jobs, more recovery time may be required.
To learn more about the laparoscopic techniques used by Dr. Thomas or to see if your concerns can benefit from this minimally invasive technique, call our office today.