Surgery can sometimes seem like a scary and invasive process. Many times, when it is possible and safe to do so, a non-surgical option is preferable. However, surgery can be necessary and life saving.
The decision to undergo surgery should always be a balance between weighing up the expected benefits of the surgery, against the potential risks.
Dr. Kelvin Larwood is a trained obstetrician and gynaecologist. He runs a private maternity clinic in Noosa, Sunshine Coast. When surgery is necessary he tries to perform laparoscopic ‘keyhole’ surgery because it is minimally invasive and can aid recovery.
What is laparoscopy surgery?
Laparoscopic keyhole surgery is used to look at the abdominal and pelvic organs. It is performed using general anesthesia, so you will not be conscious during the procedure.
The surgeon inserts an instrument called a laparoscope into the abdomen and pelvis. The abdomen is inflated using carbon dioxide gas so the internal organs can be seen properly.
One or more other small cuts may be made for other small surgical instruments if necessary.
Depending on the reason for the procedure, it may either be a simple evaluation of the appearance of the internal organs or diagnosis of certain conditions. Some laparoscopic surgeries will involve the removal of tissue or organs from the abdomen or pelvic region.
You can always discuss with your doctor before the procedure any medical advice or health information that you require.
When is laparoscopy surgery used?
Laparoscopic surgery is used to inspect and operate on the organs inside the abdominal and pelvic area. It has a lot of uses within a maternity clinic including;
- Assessment of pelvic pain, painful or heavy periods
- Total laparoscopic hysterectomy
- Diagnosing and treating endometriosis
- Assessing female infertility – looking for abnormalities
- Diagnosing or removing ovarian cysts, tumours and pelvic masses
- Treating an ectopic pregnancy
- Oophorectomy (removal of ovaries)
- Division of adhesions
- Cancer risk reduction surgery (BRCA 1, BRCA 2, Lynch/HNPCC) – for some women removing ovaries and/or the uterus can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer
Benefits of laparoscopy over open surgery
For specific procedures, a laparoscopy can have a lot of benefits over performing open surgery. These benefits include;
- A laparoscopy can be performed as ‘day surgery’ so it does not always need an overnight hospital stay.
- The laparoscopy involves making small incisions, unlike ‘open surgery’ which normally involves one large cut
- The small cuts from laparoscopy typically lead to a faster recovery time than traditional surgery
Dr Kelvin Larwood runs a private maternity clinic on the Sunshine Coast and has a special interest in surgery. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and he has a special interest in women’s fertility and surgery.
As an obstetrician and gynaecologist he regularly performs laparoscopic surgery. He operates efficiently, in order to reduce the amount of time needed under anaesthetic. When he operates he is respectful of tissue and is gentle when handling tissue to reduce bleeding and pain.
You can read more about Dr. Kelvin Larwood’s practice here.