Laparoscopy

Definition:  The Laparoscopy is a procedure that allows the health care provider to look directly at the outside of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, appendix, and other abdominal/pelvic organs. 

How the test is performed:  The test is usually done in the hospital under general anesthesia, however it may be done under local anesthesia. A catheter (a small flexible tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The skin of the abdomen is cleansed, and a small incision is made inside or just below the navel to allow the insertion of the laparoscope (instrument used to look inside the cavity). A needle is inserted into the incision and carbon dioxide gas is injected to enlarge the cavity area and elevate the abdominal wall. This allows for easier viewing and manipulation of the organs.  On occasion another incision is made for abdominal forceps. The surgical procedure is done, then the laparoscope is then removed, the incision is closed with sutures, and bandages are applied.   

How to prepare for the test:  The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experience, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:

  • infant test or procedure preparation (birth to 1 year) 
  • toddler test or procedure preparation (1 to 3 years) 
  • preschooler test or procedure preparation (3 to 6 years) 
  • schoolage test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years) 
  • adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)   

How the test will feel:  Under general anesthesia, no pain will be felt during the procedure, however the incision site may throb and be slightly painful afterward. A pain reliever may be given by your physician.  With local anesthesia, you may feel a prick and a burning sensation when the local anesthetic is given. Pain may occur at the incision site. The laparoscope may cause pressure, but there should be no pain during the procedure. Afterward, the incision site may throb for several hours and be slightly painful. A pain reliever may be given by your physician.  

What the risks are:  There is a risk of puncturing an organ which could cause bleeding into the abdominal cavity. Puncturing the intestine may allow seepage of intestinal contents into the cavity. There is also some risk of infection; however, antibiotics are often given as a precaution, depending on the operation.   

Procedures We Commonly Do Laparoscopically:

  • Fundoplication
  • removal of the gall bladder
  • appendectomy
  • repair undescended testicles
  • surgery of the small intestine and colon
  • splenectomy
  • nephrectomy
  • liver biopsy
  • adrenalectomy
  • exploration for a  variety of diseases

As with any procedure we perform, your child's safety and well-being our #1 priority.  As always, feel free to contact us with any question that you have.  We would be happy to answer it for you.