Can all operations be done by Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy can be used for almost all operations in your abdomen. Ultimately, whether laparoscopy is suitable for you depends on the nature of your individual problem and your personal medical history. Mr Sarela is very experienced in keyhole surgery for all the conditions that are explained on this website. He performs almost all operations entirely by laparoscopy. But, open surgery can be better or safer in some cases.
Are there any special risks with Laparoscopy?
For your surgeon, laparoscopy can be technically more challenging than operating though a large incision. But, the incisions, whether keyhole or large, are for the purpose of getting to the inside of your abdomen. Once inside, the procedure is the same usually. If your surgeon is well trained and experienced in keyhole surgery, then the risks should not be any greater than open surgery. In fact, the risks with laparoscopy usually are lower because there is lesser trauma to your body and quicker recovery.
Laparoscopy does have some limitations and special risks. Rarely, there may be injury to your bowel or blood vessels whilst placing the laparoscopy tubes (ports or trocars) into your abdomen. Such risks exist with open surgery, too. But, injuries can be more difficult to recognise and to fix with keyhole surgery. If there is some unexpected complexity or complication during a keyhole operation, it may become necessary to change over to open surgery. This is called conversion. The keyhole instruments are taken out and a cut of the required size is made. This will be done whilst you remain under general anaesthesia, so you will get to know of it only once you wake up.
Often, a problem is not obvious during the operation but comes to light afterwards. For example, bleeding that is seen during the operation can be stopped by one way or another. But, raw areas can bleed post-operatively. If a join has been made in your bowel, juices can leak out after the operation is completed and cause serious infection. We often see that patients with complications look and behave less unwell after keyhole surgery than after the same open operation. Consequently, there can be delay in recognizing that there is a problem. Also, because recovery is quick and allows early discharge from hospital, complications may happen after you have gone home. Vigilance is critical. Please get in touch with the hospital immediately if you feel unwell after discharge
What is deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of blood clots within veins, usually in the calves or thighs. Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a condition in which a clot becomes free from a vein, travels through the heart and lodges in the artery of the lungs. There is risk of DVT and PE after surgery. You are at increased risk for thrombosis if you are obese, or have cancer, or smoke or have had DVT or PE in the past. DVT and PE are serious problems, and can become life threatening. Several precautions, like injection of a blood-thinner drug (called low molecular weight heparin), compression stockings and calf-pumps, are taken to prevent thrombosis.