Laparoscopy is performed under general anesthetic, so you will be unconscious throughout the procedure and have no memory of it. You can often go home on the same day.
During laparoscopy, the surgeon will make a small cut (incision) of around 1-1.5cm (0.4-0.6 inches), which is usually placed near your belly button.
A tube is inserted through the incision, and carbon dioxide gas is pumped through the tube to inflate your tummy (abdomen). Inflating your abdomen allows the surgeon to see your organs more clearly and gives them more room to work. A laparoscope is then inserted through this tube. The laparoscope will relay images to a television monitor in the operating theatre, giving the surgeon a clear view of the whole area.
If the laparoscopy is used to carry out a surgical treatment, such as removing your uterus or ovary, further incisions will be made in your abdomen. Small, surgical instruments can be inserted through these incisions, and the surgeon can guide them to the right place using the view from the laparoscope. Once in place, the instruments can be used to carry out the required treatment.
After the procedure, the carbon dioxide is let out of your abdomen, the incisions are closed using stitches or clips and a dressing is applied.
When laparoscopy is used to diagnose a condition, the procedure usually takes 30-60 minutes. It will take longer if the surgeon is treating a condition, depending on the type of surgery being carried out.
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