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You know the joke. It’s only minor surgery if someone else is having it.

All joking aside, surgery never feels minor when it’s you who needs the surgery. It raises anxiety, a feeling, different than what you know about the surgery being minor. Here are some simple facts about laparoscopic surgery designed to help you understand the process better. The more facts that you have regarding surgery, very often, the less anxiety there is. When we understand something, it becomes much less frightening.

Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive surgery. It is a surgical procedure in which small incisions (approximately 0.5 to 1 cm) are made in order to place a telescopic camera system into the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to visualize your reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries).

Laparoscopy for Diagnosis and Surgery

Certain patients with fertility problems may benefit from a diagnostic and/or operative laparoscopy. At the time of your surgery, we will see if your fallopian tubes are open. In addition, laparoscopy will evaluate the relationship between your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Any adhesions or endometriosis will be removed at the time of surgery.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is located in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. It can cause abdominal pain and bleeding. Laparoscopy is utilized to diagnose and treat ectopic pregnancies.

Advantages of a Laparoscopy

The advantages to laparoscopy over an open abdomen procedure include:

  1. Decreased blood loss.
  2. Small abdominal incisions.
  3. Shorter surgical recovery time.
  4. Less pain.

Operative laparoscopy Procedure

General anesthesia is used. Small incisions are made on the abdomen. Gas is placed into the abdomen. The laparoscope is put through the incision. This allows your surgeon to view your reproductive organs. The laparoscope produces images on a television screen.

Microsurgical instruments are placed through the abdominal incisions. These will allow your physician to cut adhesions or remove endometriosis.

After your procedure, the incisions are closed and you will go home the same day.

Most Common Problems After Laparoscopic Surgery

  1. Nausea.
  2. Pain around incision sites.
  3. Hoarse throat as a breathing tube is placed during anesthesia.
  4. Abdominal pain.
  5. Tenderness.
  6. Shoulder pain.

If you have any of these symptoms, alert your nurse or physician.

If surgery is what is being recommended by a physician or group of physicians that you trust and feel comfortable with, then do what you can to understand the procedure. Be proactive. Ask questions. If there are things that you don’t understand, ask more questions. Surgery, being done for your benefit, is a healthy and smart option. Being as familiar as possible with what to expect can make the entire experience more comfortable.

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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