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Laparoscopic Surgery: Learn the Risks and Possible Complications

Updated on September 5, 2017

Laparoscopic Surgery


What is Laparoscopic Surgery?

When a surgery is done laparoscopically it's usually an outpatient surgery that is much less invasive than an open surgery where they would cut you open and make a larger incision, sew you back up and it's more invasive and more intricate.

The Laparoscope

A Laparoscope is a telescope about 1/2 an inch in diameter. It is placed into the abdomen through a small incision in the navel through which structures within the abdomen and pelvis can be seen. A small surgical l(cut) is made in the abdominal wall to permit the laparoscope to enter the abdomen or pelvis. A different amount of tubes can be pushed through the same incision or other small incisions permitting the introduction of probes and other instruments. In this way, a number of surgical procedures can be performed without the need for a large surgical incision. Virtually all parts of the body today can be visualized using a laparoscope including the joints of the body.

The Benefits and Risks of Laparoscopic Surgery

There are benefits of having a laparoscopic surgery. One of them, of course, is less invasive of surgery. No large surgical scars and recovery. Most laparoscopic surgeries are done on an outpatient basis. Laparoscopic surgery consists of keyhole incisions and has reduced hospital stays and less pain for the patient. There also is the benefit of quicker return to work, heal time and back to life quicker.

Some of the times that laparoscopic surgeries would be designated for could be:

  • Appendicitis
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery
  • Lap Band
  • Cholecystectomy or Removal of Gallbladder
  • Hernia Repair
  • GERD or Anti Reflux Surgery
  • Treatment of Liver and Biliary Diseases
  • Treatment of Hiatal Hernia
  • Splenectomy and Treatment of the Spleen
  • Intestinal and Colon Disorders
  • Ulcer Surgery
  • Small Bowel Obstruction
  • Achalasia
  • Removal of Appendix

The Trocar

A trocar is a sharp-pointed surgical instrument fitted with a cannula ( a thin tube inserted into a vein or body cavity to administer medicine, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument) and used especially to insert the cannula into a body cavity as a drainage outlet.

Risks of Having Laparoscopic Surgery

Besides the benefits of laparoscopic surgery, there are also risks involved. You and your physician should go over them together and let your doctor know about any previous surgeries (abdominal) that you have had in the past whether you think it's relevant or not. Any type of surgery will grow scar tissue and adhesions. It's very important for your surgeon to know anything you have done prior.

The risks they tell you about are rare, as with every surgery they must tell you the risks. There is a risk when you get your tooth pulled. Unfortunately, we put our trust in the surgeon and listen with a "light ear" and don't pay much attention. Kind of like, "it's not going to happen to me." There is a risk of injury to the bowel when doing a hernia, gallbladder, or any abdominal surgery with the laparoscope. If this happens to your small bowel, your fecal matter will spill into your abdomen causing sepsis and peritionitis. If the injury is caught immediately, then it can be surgically fixed with minor harm done. If the surgeon fails to see that he injured the bowel, then that's when trouble starts. Within hours, you will know something is wrong.

Would You Consider An Open Surgery or Laparoscopic

After Reading This, Would You Consider An Open Or Still Laparoscopic Surgery

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    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago from Central USA

      Sometimes you have to be your own advocate! Speak up and don't let them dictate everything..too late for my lesson though.

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 3 years ago from Pilipinas

      Hi weezychannel! You are right, I often see surgery as a person's last resort or when there are no other options left for any medical concern. I guess I am just allergic to the idea of being cut open. I remember arguing with my OB on the idea of getting a C-section right on the Delivery Room due to some complications, I prevailed and perhaps it was a miracle, I lived to tell about it. Have a great day!

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago from Central USA

      Thanks gmmurgirl! I don't blame you! I am done for surgeries unless emergency so I guess I don't have to worry about it any more. I have tried to become an advocate and help others so they don't run into the same problems I have, but I can only do so much. I wish I could type forever because I sure have a lot to say!

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 3 years ago from Pilipinas

      Thanks for the information about this kind of surgery. Very informative hub! Still I'd try to do my best to avoid any surgeries done on my body. Thanks!

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago from Central USA

      With today's technology, you think there would be a better way. I thought the laparoscopic would be safer for me, but it depends on the individual and the surgeon. Both have to work together. Besides, doctors are in such a hurry nowadays, that no one, no matter what type of surgery you have, is failsafe.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I have had both kinds of surgery and do not like either of those.