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Laparoscopy - Complications of laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a commonly performed procedure and serious complications are rare.

Minor complications

It is estimated that minor complications occur in one or two out of every 100 cases, following laparoscopy. They include:

  • post-operative infection
  • minor bleeding and bruising around the incision
  • feeling sick and vomiting

Serious complications

Serious complications after laparoscopy are rare, occurring in one out of every 1,000 cases, it is estimated. These include:

  • damage to an organ, such as your bowel or bladder, which could result in the loss of organ function
  • damage to a major artery
  • complications arising from the use of carbon dioxide during the procedure, such as the gas bubbles entering your veins or arteries
  • a serious allergic reaction to the general anaesthetic
  • a blood clot developing in a vein, usually in one of the legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT), which can break off and block the blood flow in one of the blood vessels in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)

Further surgery is often required to treat many of these more serious complications.


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