Diagnostic Laparoscopy

For this procedure we insert 2 or 3 ports (plastic tubes) through the abdominal wall, so there is a good chance you will have some bruising at these sites. It's akin to being stabbed, but with more care, precision and a little dissection. Since you can't rest the abdominal wall muscles (where the bruising is) all the time, most patients are sore for the first 3-5 days. Since visualisation of the pelvis and abdominal cavity has been made, but there have been no incisions or excision performed, most patient will go home 4-6 hours later. Day Surgery just means you go home that day. It does not mean you won't be sore and it doesn't mean you can return to normal activity (adult or otherwise).

1 in 40 patients may need to stay because of nausea. Very occasionally a patient is unable to pass urine as a reflex response to pain. In this instance a catheter will be passed as a temporary measure.

Sutures - There are sutures in the wounds which will dissolve eventually but I review my patients within the week and remove the sutures at that appointment. I know some surgeons use dissolvable sutures but I don't always as I feel they are harder to remove if there is a problem. This visit provides a good opportunity to discuss the surgery and view any photos of your insides.

Wounds - Bruising is common and as it rises to the surface can cause a round reddened area extending downward from the belly button. This is not an infection but can mimic one, so come in and be reviewed if worried. Leaking a watery yellow fluid (serum) is also normal. This is the fluid released as deeper bruising is resolving.

Dressings on the wounds should be removed after 48 hours and the cuts left open to the air. You can shower normally at this time. It must be remembered that the belly button is not the cleanest of places. It is warm, moist and in some people has not seen the light of day for eons. Small pre-industrial bacterial civilizations often reside here and do not take kindly to our surgical intrusion. Occasionally they rise up after surgery, colonizing the sutures (muck, ooze and smell) and then cause an infection (red, hot swollen +/- temperature). If this occurs, the sutures need to be removed, the area cleaned and sometimes antibiotics given. Come in and have it looked at.

Injury - It is always possible to nick, cut, puncture or in some way injure another structure in the abdomen during any operation. Large blood vessels, Bowel, Bladder, Ureter (connects your kidney to the bladder) are all at risk of injury. More so if the surgery is difficult due to adhesions (scar tissue) or endometriosis. If you are particularly concerned about any of these, please ask.


Follow-up - Diagnostic means we just looked so recovery should be quick and you are reviewed within the week to discuss the next management phase, if any.