Anesthesia for Laparoscopy

The two types of anesthesia used for a diagnostic laparoscopy both eliminate pain felt during the procedure. Spinal anesthesia numbs the patient from the base of the ribcage down, allowing the patient to remain conscious throughout the procedure. General anesthesia puts the patient into a deep sleep for the duration of the surgery, eliminating sensations of pain or pressure. It is important to discuss any allergies or health problems with your anesthesiologist before your surgery, as laparoscopy anesthesia has risks and possible side effects.

Laparoscopy Anesthesia: An Overview

Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain felt during a laparoscopy. For this procedure, the two most commonly used types are spinal and general anesthesia. You will be given one of the two types.
Spinal Anesthesia for Laparoscopy
With spinal anesthesia for laparoscopy, your anesthesiologist will inject medicine into your lower back. This will cause you to feel numb, usually from the base of your rib cage down. To make the placement of the needle easier, you will be asked to either lie on your side curled up or to sit on the side of the table hunched forward. During the laparoscopy, you will also receive medicine that makes you feel relaxed or sleepy. Although the spinal anesthesia will take away all sensation of pain, you might still feel some pressure and movement during the procedure.
General Anesthesia for Laparoscopy
The other option for laparoscopic surgery is general anesthesia. This type uses medication to put you into a deep sleep so that you do not feel any pain, pressure, or movement during the procedure. In order to do this, you will first be asked to breathe through an oxygen mask. Then you will be given medications through your IV, which will cause you to feel pleasantly relaxed and quickly drift off to sleep. After you are in a deep sleep, a breathing tube will be placed into your windpipe to assist with your breathing throughout the operation. Your anesthesia care team will give you other medications as required during your procedure through your IV.

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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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