This paper will define laparoscopy in general, how the surgery used to be performed before laparoscopy was introduced, its impact on the patients and finally our roles and responsibilities as an enrolled nurses in regards to caring for the patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery.
Laparoscopy or keyhole surgery is a medical procedure used to examine the interior of the abdominal or pelvic cavities to diagnose or treat (or both) a number of different diseases and conditions, including female infertility, diseases of the urinary system including the kidneys and appendicitis (Laparoscopy: Better Health Channel, website 2010).
Before laparoscopy was available, doctors always had to make large openings and cut through layers of tissue in order to examine internal organs (laparotomy).The main drawbacks of laparotomy are the extended hospital stay (up to one week or so) and the long recovery time. A person who undergoes open surgery can expect at least six weeks of convalescence. Compared to laparoscopy, laparotomy has increased risks of infection and adhesions. The resulting scars from open surgery are also much more extensive (History of Laparoscopy, website 2008).
Laparoscopy on the other hand greatly reduces the patient’s recovery time. The small incisions mean that recovery time is quite fast. Most patients can return to their normal activities within one week of surgery. Reduced exposure of internal organs to possible external contaminants thereby reduced risk of acquiring infections. Postoperative pain resolves within a few days and the scarring is minimal (Benefits of Laparoscopy, website 2010).
When caring for a patient undergoing a laparoscopy, our primary responsibilities as nurses include instructing the patient and monitoring for complications in the immediate postoperative period. Before the surgery (pre-op) it is important to describe the specific laparoscopy procedure to the patient and answer any questions. Inform...