General risks to abdominal/laparoscopic surgery
The pelvic organs are surrounded by the bladder, ureters, bowel, major vessels and nerves. Injury to any of these organs can occur. In our practice, the risk of injury to these structures is far less than 1%. We take our time and are very careful with our surgical techniques to avoid injury to adjacent abdominal organs. However, if any injury were to occur during the surgery, we would repair the injuries during the procedure. We may have another surgeon specializing in the organs injured come to assist in the repair as well. Most injuries are recognized during the surgery and can be repaired successfully. If an injury is not recognized, then the patient will develop symptoms after the procedure anywhere from immediately after the surgery to a few weeks after the surgery. The most common reason for not recognizing an injury during the surgery is from the use of an energy or electrical source that causes a thermal burn to the injured structure. Should any questions arise during the recovery, please call our office as soon as possible.
Infection from the surgery is minimal. All patients receive antibiotics about 30 minutes prior to surgery through the IV as a precaution. The surgical area is prepared with a special soap to decrease the level of infection as well. Depending on the surgery, some women are sent home on antibiotics as well.
Blood transfusions are rare. In our surgical techniques, we are very careful to minimize blood loss during the surgery. Depending on the type of surgery or the woman’s blood count level prior to surgery, a transfusion may be recommended to help with recovery. Some women may be candidates to donate their own blood prior to surgery in case the risk of transfusion for an individual’s surgery is higher than normal.
Undergoing anesthesia also has risks. These risks are discussed with your anesthesiologist prior to surgery.
These are the most commonly discussed risks of surgery. Other risks may be discussed by your surgeon depending on the woman’s past medical history, physical exam and the type of surgery being planned.