What is laparoscopy?
A laparoscope is a special telescope designed for medical use. It is connected to a high intensity (fiber-optic) light source as well as a high-resolution television camera. This allows the surgeon to view the abdominal cavity. The laparoscope is placed into the abdominal cavity through a hollow tube (trocar) and the image is viewed on a TV monitor.
What are the advantages of laparoscopic surgery?
There are many advantages over traditional open surgery. People who undergo laparoscopic procedures often have a shorter hospitalization. On average 1 to 2 days for laparoscopic versus 5 to 7 days for open surgery. Also, since laparoscopy utilizes much smaller incisions, the risk of wound infection is less and consequently the risk of hernia formation is less. While postoperative pain is different for everybody, patients often report much less pain after laparoscopy.
What are the complications associated with laparoscopic surgery?
The most frequent complications of any operation are bleeding and infection. There is a small risk of other complications that include, but are not limited to, injury to the abdominal organs, intestines, urinary bladder or blood vessels. As with any laparoscopic procedure, there is a chance of "conversion" to the open procedure. Most often this occurs to people that have had many previous abdominal surgeries and have a lot of scar tissue. In the hands of experienced laparoscopic surgeons conversion to open is very rare.
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
Your pregnancy is called high-risk if you or your baby has an increased chance of a health problem. Many things can put you at high risk. Being called "high-risk" may sound scary. But it's just a way for doctors to make sure that you get special attention during your pregnancy. Your doctor will watch you closely during your pregnancy to find any problems early.
The conditions listed below put you and your baby at a higher risk for problems, such as slowed growth for the baby, preterm labor, preeclampsia, and problems with the placenta. But it's important to remember that being at high risk doesn't mean that you or your baby will have problems.
Your health plan may have its own list of what makes a pregnancy high-risk. In general, your pregnancy may be high-risk if:
- You have a health problem, such as:
- High blood pressure.
- Kidney disease.
- You use alcohol or illegal drugs, or you smoke.
- You are younger than 17 or older than 35.
- You are pregnant with more than one baby (multiple pregnancy).
- You have had three or more miscarriages.
- Your baby has been found to have a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome, or a heart, lung, or kidney problem.
- You had a problem in a past pregnancy, such as:
- Preterm labor.
- Preeclampsia or seizures (eclampsia).
- Having a baby with a genetic problem, such as Down syndrome.
- You have an infection, such as HIV or hepatitis C. Other infections that can cause a problem include cytomegalovirus (CMV), chickenpox, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and syphilis.
Other health problems can make your pregnancy high-risk. These include heart valve problems, sickle cell disease, asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Talk to your doctor about any health problems you have.
What is a urogynecologist?
A urogynecologist is a physician who specializes in treating women with a variety of disorders to the pelvic floor. This specialist is also sometimes called a female urologist.
Before the urogynecology specialty was created, women with pelvic-floor disorders typically had to visit multiple specialists and receive treatment for problems in the urinary, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems separately. A urogynecologist can manage all these conditions comprehensively.
In addition to completing medical school, a urogynecologist must have completed a four- or five-year residency program in urology or obstetrics and gynecology, plus an intensive three-year fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that support the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum and help these pelvic organs function.
What causes pelvic-floor disorders?
The National Institutes of Health estimate one-third of women in the United States will experience pelvic-floor disorders in their lifetime. Childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic diseases and surgery can weaken the pelvic floor. Inherited factors also can contribute.
While pelvic-floor disorders become more common as you get older, they are not inevitable. Depending on the severity of your condition, a range of treatments are available to minimize the symptoms or repair the damage.