Pelvic Pain Laparoscopy, Treatment and FAQ

 In Pelvic Pain

To begin with, one simply doesn’t need some high school reader or ready reckoner to be able to understand as to what is the subject matter of Pelvic Pain. First things first, pelvic pain is the pain that occurs in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis. However, in women, pelvic pain might refer to the symptoms arising from the urinary, reproductive, or for that matter, digestive systems, or from musculoskeletal sources.

Whereas, a laparoscopy is a procedure used to look inside the abdomen and which is meant to treat certain types of pelvic pain in women – especially endometriosis. The operation from its part is done under a general anaesthetic, which means that the patient will be asleep the whole time. A pelvic pain laparoscopy, to begin with, gives a good view of the pelvic organs.

Whereas, pelvic laparotomy is the process in which a large incision is made into the abdomen. Exploratory laparotomy is made use of so as to visualize and examine the structures inside of the abdominal cavity.
Patients undergoing the process of Pelvic Pain Laparoscopy have these FAQs generally that demand medical attention:

• What might be the advantages of Pelvic laparoscopy?

To be able to answer this, the recovery time in the immediate post operative period is quicker. The patients from their end often go home only after 23 hours for laparoscopy recovery time in the comfort of their own home. The small incisions made tend to be less painful and patients often need less postoperative pain medication as a result. Also, fewer wound infections occur. On the other hand, the cosmetic results are also appealing as the scar is limited to three or four skin incisions that are less than one half inch long.

• What are the risks of laparoscopic surgery?

Here, the risks are similar for both laparoscopic and open surgery. First and foremost, there is always the possibility that surgeon may not be able to complete the procedure laparoscopically. This may be secondary to unexpected complications or because the surgery cannot be safely performed with a laparoscopic approach. Complications specific to laparoscopy include injury to the bowel, bladder and blood vessels at the time of insertion of the surgical instruments and hernia formation at an incision site. Other complications not specific to laparoscopy include infection, bleeding and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the legs). Death is also a potential but RARE complication of any type of surgery.

• What are possible complications following laparoscopic surgery?
• Wound infection
• Bruising
• Hematoma formation
• Anesthesia-related complications
• Injury to blood vessels of the abdominal wall or those of the lower abdomen and pelvic sidewall.
•Injury to the urinary tract or the bowel

• What can I expect immediately following laparoscopic surgery?
Generally, you may experience any of the following symptoms within the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
• Nausea and lightheadedness
• Scratchy throat if a breathing tube was used during the general anesthesia
• Pain around the incisions
• Abdominal pain or uterine cramping
• Shoulder tip pain-secondary to the carbon dioxide gas
• Tender umbilicus (belly-button)
• Gassy or bloated feeling
• Vaginal bleeding or discharge (like a menstrual flow)

•What is the normal recovery time following laparoscopic surgery?

The diagnostic laparoscopy as well as laparoscopic surgery recovery time duration depends on the type of procedure you had performed. Most patients feel well within days of surgery. But if major surgery has been performed rest is still required. Most patients will require some form of pain medicine in the immediate postoperative period. A prescription for a narcotic as well as an anti-inflammatory will be provided prior to the discharge. Avoidance of heavy lifting (greater than 10 pounds), jumping and jogging is recommended until 4 weeks postoperatively. Sexual intercourse should also be postponed for 4 weeks. It is preferable not to put anything into the vagina for at least 4 weeks including tampons. The timing for returning to work depends on the procedure performed.

• When should you contact the physician after laparoscopy?

You should not hesitate to call the doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:

• Heavy bleeding from the incisions
• Fever or chills
• Problems with urination or bowel movements
• Heavy vaginal bleeding
• Severe or increasing abdominal pain
• Vomiting
• Redness or discharge from the skin incisions
• Shortness of breath or chest pain

• Will I have a catheter in my bladder at laparoscopic surgery?

Most patients have a catheter inserted at the time of surgery. This catheter is removed in the operating room or within 6 to 12 hours after surgery. Occasionally, the catheter must be reinserted because the patient is unable to void. If this occurs, the catheter is usually removed 24 hours later to give the bladder a chance to recover.
• Can I have other surgery performed at the time of my laparoscopic surgery?
Yes. Occasionally, two procedures are scheduled at the same time. Hysteroscopy is frequently performed at the same time as laparoscopy. Women may also elect to have another elective surgery performed in combination with their gynecologic procedure. Surgeries that have been performed concurrently have included liposuction, gallbladder removal and breast implants.

• What is endometriosis and how is it diagnosed?

Endometriosis is a condition, when the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is found in other places than the uterine cavity. Endometriotic implants can be found on pelvic sidewall, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, bladder, and less commonly outside of the pelvic cavity. Like the endometrial lining in the uterus, these implants undergo similar changes in response to the cyclic hormonal changes. The implants may swell and bleed every month causing pain. Endometriosis may also lead to cysts and adhesions. This condition is found in approximately 20% of women. The most common symptoms of endometriosis are pain with your period, irregular bleeding and infertility. At the present time there is no simple test for diagnosing endometriosis. The only way to diagnose endometriosis with certainty is by laparoscopy and biopsy. Rarely large endometriotic lesions can be diagnosed by ultrasound.

• How is endometriosis treated?

Endometriosis can be treated with medications, surgical excision, or combination of the two methods. You should discuss the treatment options with your gynecologist.

• Can endometriosis be treated laparoscopically?

Yes. A laparoscopic biopsy is required to diagnose endometriosis. Endometriotic implants can also be treated laparoscopically with excision or burning. This treatment usually produces more immediate results in terms of pain relief and fertility compared to the medical therapy.

• What is the treatment for ovarian cyst?

A cyst is a fluid filled cavity. Cysts can often be found in the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are usually diagnosed by pelvic exam or ultrasound. If the cyst is entirely filled with fluid it is called a “simple cyst”. Ovarian follicles as they undergo maturation may appear on ultrasound as simple cysts or occasionally as complex cysts. These cysts usually resolve within one to two months. Simple cysts are almost always benign. Removal is indicated if they are bigger than 5-6 cm in diameter or if they cause symptoms. If the cyst contains echogenic structures (shadows by ultrasound) it is categorized as a “complex cyst”. Complex cysts can represent endometriosis, infection, benign tumors, and rarely malignancies. It is generally recommended that complex cysts be evaluated laparoscopically and possibly removed. The majority of ovarian cysts can be removed laparoscopically.

• What are fibroids?

Fibroids are benign growths of the uterus. They occur in 20 to 25 percent of women. Fibroids are most common in women aged 30 to 40 but may occur at any age. Women may have one fibroid or many fibroids. The size of the fibroid also varies from the size of a small pea to more than 6 inches wide. Some women may be entirely asymptomatic and others may complain of changes in menstruation, pain, pressure, miscarriages and infertility.

• Can I have my fibroids removed laparoscopically (myomectomy) rather than having a hysterectomy?
Yes. Some women may have their fibroids (benign growths on the uterus) excised laparoscopically. This procedure is limited to fibroids that are on the outside of the uterus (Pedunculated) or just under the uterine wall (subserosal). Fibroids that are buried deep in the uterus cannot be removed with this approach. The fibroids are then morcellated (ground) and removed through the small incisions. Occasionally, with resection of a fibroid, the uterine cavity may be entered and suturing is required. This usually can be performed using special laparoscopic instruments but infrequently a small (“mini”) pfannensteil (“bikini”) incision is made to repair the uterus. Rarely a hysterectomy must be performed because of heavy bleeding or inability to reconstruct the uterus. Sometimes a drug (GnRH agonist) may be used to shrink the fibroid and control bleeding prior to surgery.

• Can I have my fibroids removed laparoscopically if they are located inside the uterus (submucosal)?
No. If the fibroids (benign growths on the uterus) are only in the inside of the uterus they cannot be approached laparoscopically. Rather, your physician may recommend a hysteroscopic approach to avoid uterus laparoscopy side effects.

• If I would like my uterus removed laparoscopically is this always an option?

In most cases, the uterus removal laparoscopy can be safely carried out. This is not an option when the uterus is very large (greater than 18 week pregnancy in size). Recovery after laparoscopic hysterectomy is usually quicker than after abdominal hysterectomy. To help you choose the most suitable and safe surgery the doctor will consider all these factors prior to proceeding with a laparoscopic hysterectomy.

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