• What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is an examination of the interior of the abdomen by means of an instrument called a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a small telescope-like instrument with a light on one end which is passed through a small incision below the navel. This allows the physician to view and examine the organs in the abdominal cavity.
• What is laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a method by which surgery is performed through small incisions in the abdominal wall and inserting the instruments through specially designed ports. The procedure will be visualized with the help of a camera, which will also be introduced through one of these ports.
• How long do I have to stay in hospital?
A healthy person without any other medical ailments and complications can be investigated on an out- patient basis. They can come in on the day of surgery or the previous day. Following a laparoscopic procedure for gallstones or a hernia they can be discharged either on the day of surgery or the next day. For more advanced procedures three to four days in hospital would be the norm.
• How soon can I start eating after surgery?
If the surgery is uneventful, feeding can be started on the same day once the patient has recovered completely from the effects of anaesthesia, provided no procedure has been performed on the bowel.
• When can I get back to work?
Usually a weeks rest from the day of surgery should suffice. But it would be advisable for the surgeon to advice based on your progress.
• Do I have to take absolute bed rest?
No. The advantage of this method as has been previously mentioned is that the incisions are very small, thereby reducing pain and danger of hernia. You can become ambulant as early as pain and anaesthetic factors permit.
• What are the risks of laparoscopic surgery?
There are some risks when you have general anaesthesia.
There is chance of infection or bleeding in the wounds.
The abdominal organs, glands, intestines, or blood vessels may be damaged.
A blood clot may enter the bloodstream, and clog an artery in the lung.
A hernia can develop at the site of the wounds.
• What should I bring with me when I come for a scheduled office appointment?
A referral from your General Practitioner or family doctor.
All pertinent x-ray reports and test results from your primary care or referring physician.
A list of all medications that you are currently taking.
A list of any known drug allergies and the symptoms you may have from taking these medicines.
If you have had surgery elsewhere, please bring a copy of your operation report.
• What are the benefits of laparoscopy?
The smaller incisions are less painful. As a result, we see a decreased need for pain medication, shorter recovery time and better cosmetic result. Patients are able to eat when they feel ready, and there is less internal scarring.
• What are the risks of laparoscopic surgery?
The risks are similar for laparoscopic, open and vaginal surgery. There is always a possibility that the surgeon cannot complete the procedure laparoscopically and a larger incision may be needed. This risk is small, as are the risks of bleeding, infection, damage to the bladder, bowel, blood vessels and ureters. With any surgery, there may be unforeseen risks and a potential, but exceedingly rare risk of death.
• Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
• Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Most medical specialists will accept only referred patients. This is partly to try to ensure that the specialist you are seeing is appropriate for you and your condition.
• How can my family doctor help me to obtain specialist medical care?
Before seeing any medical specialist, it is always preferable to talk to your own family doctor, who can discuss your condition with you and advise on whether any specialist care is appropriate. If it is, he or she can help you to choose the specialist best suited to your needs. Your family doctor can help the specialist to care for you better by providing relevant information about your health. Communicating with the specialist will also enable your family doctor to care for you better during and after your specialist treatment.
• What should I expect during first visit?
During your initial visit, the doctor will explain the specific procedure you want, help you visualize the results and go over the risks. He may do a physical examination and ask you a bunch of questions. Once you go and have the test done then he will decide what your diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Although complications are rare, all surgeries, especially those that involve anesthesia, carry some risks. Mr. Tan Arulampalam will outline these for you based on the specific procedure.