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Complications After Laparoscopic Surgery

by
author image Helen Nnama
Helen Nnama has six years of writing experience. She is a health contributor to TBR Journal, editor of fertility confidential manuals, published poet, and a greeting card writer. She has a B.S. in microbiology, an M.S. in epidemiology, and is an M.D. candidate. A former state HIV/AIDS epidemiologist and NIA fellow at Johns Hopkins, she has research experience with published work.
Complications After Laparoscopic Surgery
A laparoscopic surgery entails using small incisions and can lead to complications. Photo Credit nimon_t/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Laparoscopic surgery is a specialized and minimally invasive technique of surgery commonly used for gynecologic and gastrointestinal procedures, as stated by the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. Laparoscopic surgery uses several small incisions, called ports approximately 0.5 to 1 cm in size. It also makes use of a tubular instrument called trochar, which is inserted in each of the ports to provide passage for the specialized instruments and the laparoscope that will be used in the surgery. The laparoscope transmits detailed images from the abdominal cavity to a video monitor.

Post Operative Bladder Infection

According to the booklet published by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine entitled "Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy – A Guide for Patients," post operative bladder infection is one of the common risks associated with laparoscopy. Injuries and infection can occur during the operative treatment and during the insertion of the various specialized instruments, including the laparoscope. Antibiotics are given to prevent this complication.

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Skin Irritations and Hematoma

Skin irritations and hematoma are common postoperative complications of laparoscopy, as mentioned in the booklet published by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine entitled "Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy – A Guide for Patients." Hematomas may develop near the incision site on the abdominal wall, and the skin may become irritated and bruised because of the gas used to distend the area.

Damage to the Bowel and Abdominal Cavity

According to Medline Plus, a website supported by the National Institute of Health, the risk for damage to the bowel and abdominal cavity after laparoscopy is possible. The instruments may puncture a digestive organ and cause leakage of intestinal contents in to the abdomen. Discomfort and tenderness around the navel area may also occur. This complication is life threatening and requires immediate open surgery.

Nausea and Vomiting

As stated in a 1998 study in the "Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal," which is supported by the World Health Organization, troublesome nausea and vomiting is among the postoperative complications of laparoscopy. Approximately 50% of the patients undergoing such procedure require anti-emetics to manage nausea and vomiting. This complication is believed to be brought about by the irritation of the abdominal cavity caused by the carbon dioxide residue.

Shoulder Pain and Discomfort

As determined by the 1998 study in the "Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal," shoulder pain and discomfort following laparoscopy is due to the peritoneal irritation caused by the carbon dioxide used to distend the abdominal wall as well as to move any internal organs in order to create sufficient working space for the surgeon during the procedure.

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References

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