Nerve Injury With Laparoscopy

Your brain and spinal cord are responsible for the function, control, and coordination of body activities, including providing for the senses of feeling and movement. Your body uses nerves as connections between the brain or spinal cord and the specific locations. Nerves can connect into muscles to allow for movement. Nerves can also connect with the skin to provide feeling.
Nerves from the spinal cord and brain are relatively large in size. As the nerves branch off from the main stem, they become smaller in size and their function more specialized. Nerves that provide for feeling, located under the skin, are quite small. Because of their size and location, these nerves are often cut during surgery. In fact, it is impossible not to cut any nerves during surgery. However, the abnormal skin feeling caused by this is usually in a very small area.
In rarer cases, approximately 1 out of 1,000 laparoscopic surgeries, nerve injury can occur. This can be related to the stretching of certain nerves prior to or during the procedure. Both motor and sensory loss can occur. Motor loss may result in muscle weakness, while sensory loss results in loss of feeling, numbness, or tingling in the affected area. Over time, most of these problems will get better on their own.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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