What is laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive surgery that is used to diagnose and treat several conditions.
A laparoscopic or keyhole surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that can be done to diagnose as well as treat medical conditions. It is called minimally invasive since it involves small incisions (surgical cuts) on the abdomen as compared to the conventional “open” surgeries that involve bigger incisions. Since small incisions are used in this type of surgery, the recovery is generally faster. The surgery also has added advantages, such as less pain, bleeding and scarring after the procedure. Laparoscopic surgeries involve the use of a thin, long flexible device called a laparoscope. It has a light source and camera on one end, which enables the surgeon to get a view of the inside of the abdomen and the pelvis on a television screen. Besides the incision for introducing the laparoscope inside the body, the surgery involves making 2 to 3 more incisions on the abdomen through which special kinds of laparoscopic surgical instruments are introduced to carry out the procedure.
How long does it take to recover from laparoscopic surgery?
The time it takes to recover from a laparoscopic surgery depends on many factors, such as
- Purpose of the surgery (whether it is done for diagnosis or treatment)
- General health of the patient
- Age of the patient
- Presence of any other medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease
When done purely for a diagnostic purpose, the patient generally resumes their routine activity within 5 days.
When done for the treatment of medical conditions, the recovery may vary depending on the type of treatment. After a major surgery, such as a laparoscopic hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), removal of the ovaries or removal of a kidney for the treatment of cancer, it may take up to 12 weeks to recover. The patient may be able to resume their activities within 3 weeks of a minor laparoscopic surgery, such as an appendix removal.
The surgeon will be the best person to tell the patient about the approximate recovery time after the surgery, which may vary if complications arise.