Health Care for Women, Inc.  
     
     
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Procedure Description:
Laparoscopy

What To Expect:
A diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure in which the doctor uses a laparoscope to look into the peritoneal cavity. A laparoscope is a thin metal tube with a light and tiny camera. The peritoneal cavity is the space that contains most of your abdominal and pelvic organs. You are given a general anesthetic, which relaxes your muscles, makes you feel as if you are in a deep sleep, and prevents you from feeling pain.

Your peritoneal cavity is inflated with carbon dioxide gas. This expands your peritoneal cavity like a balloon and helps the doctor see your organs. The doctor makes a small cut near your belly button, puts in the gas, and then puts the laparoscope through the cut. The doctor may put other tools through small cuts elsewhere in the abdomen. To look at the pelvis, for example, the doctor puts a tool through a small cut in the lower abdomen. The doctor guides the laparoscope to explore the area and look at certain organs.

Preprocedure:
Follow instructions provided by Dr. Gowell's office. Eat a light meal, such as soup, the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning before the procedure. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water. Dr. Gowell may ask you to perform a bowel prep in certain instances. The Hospital will let you know which one of your normal medications to take the morning of the surgery.

Postprocedure:
Allow for time to rest and try to find other people to help you with your day-to-day duties. You may stay in the hospital several hours or overnight to recover from the anesthetic and be observed for problems after the laparoscopic surgery. The anesthetic may cause sleepiness or grogginess for a while. You may have some shoulder pain and feel bloated. You may notice a change in bowel habits for a few days. You should avoid heavy activity such as lifting (nothing heavier than a gallon milk).

When should I call the doctor?

Call the doctor immediately if:

You develop a fever >100.4 F.

You develop redness, swelling, pain, or drainage from the small incisions.

You experience nausea and vomiting not controlled with the pain medicine.

You have abdominal pain or swelling that gets worse despite the pain medicine.

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Procedure Description:
Vaginal Hysterectomy

What To Expect:
A vaginal hysterectomy is a way to take out the uterus through the vagina. The uterus is the muscular organ at the top of the vagina. Babies develop in the uterus, and menstrual blood comes from the uterus.

Preprocedure:
Be sure to tell your doctor what medicines you are taking, including nonprescription drugs and herbal remedies.

Plan for your care and recovery after the operation. Allow for time to rest and try to find other people to help you with your day-to-day duties.

Follow instructions provided by Dr. Gowell's office staff. Eat a light meal, such as soup, the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning before the procedure. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.

What happens during the procedure?

You will be given a regional (spinal) or general anesthetic. A regional anesthetic numbs the lower part of your body while you remain awake. It should keep you from feeling pain during the operation. A general anesthetic relaxes your muscles, makes you feel as if you are in a deep sleep, and prevents you from feeling pain during the surgery.

Postprocedure:
You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. You may go home with a temporary catheter (a tube to drain the bladder).



Procedure Description:
Tubal sterilization

What To Expect:
Minimal discomfort during a 15 minute procedure

Preprocedure:
Cervical block

Postprocedure:
Mild cramping


Staff

HCW is comprised of 6 full time OB/GYN's, 3 gynecologists, 2 nurse midwives, 1 nurse practitioner and 2 physician assistants.



MidWifery


Barbara J. Carroll, C.N.M.
Margaret T. Frank, C.N.M