Laparoscopy: Minimally Invasive Surgery and Examination Costs 2022 (with Insurance Advice)

Laparoscopy has become the mainstream approach in the surgical field in recent years, used for the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases. Compared to traditional surgery, laparoscopy is more widely accepted due to its minimally invasive nature, resulting in significantly reduced incision size. The Bowtie Medical Information team delves into the detailed process of laparoscopy, including preoperative preparation, procedure, risks, costs, and insurance information.
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2023-07-12
Updated on 2023-09-13
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What is laparoscopy? What are its main applications in gynecology?Laparoscopy has two primary applicationsLaparoscopic/Minimally Invasive Examination and Surgical FeesLaparoscopy/Minimally Invasive Examination and Surgery Insurance NotesExamination/Surgery Procedure and StepsPre-Examination/Surgery PreparationExamination/Surgery Risks and side effectsFAQ

What is laparoscopy? What are its main applications in gynecology?

Laparoscopy, also known as minimally invasive surgery, involves the use of a flexible endoscope tube with a light source and camera to enter the abdominal or pelvic cavity through one or more small incisions made in the patient’s abdomen. This procedure is divided into diagnostic and therapeutic types, allowing for proper diagnosis and treatment of various conditions.

Due to the ability of doctors to perform detailed examinations of the pelvic or abdominal organs through laparoscopy, it is widely used in gynecology in addition to its common applications in gastroenterology and urology. It enables more accurate diagnosis, identification of causes, and treatment of gynecological diseases such as ovarian cysts and endometriosis.

Laparoscopy has two primary applications

Diagnostic Examination

The doctor makes a small incision in the patient’s abdomen and inserts a tube with a light source and camera to directly examine organs such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. It is primarily used to investigate the causes of abdominal or pelvic pain, tissue tumors, diagnose endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, check for tubal blockages, and identify the causes of infertility.

Surgical Treatment

Through laparoscopic surgery, doctors can perform various procedures, including:

  • Removal of inflamed appendix (appendectomy)
  • Removal of the gallbladder to treat gallbladder inflammation caused by gallstones (cholecystectomy)
  • Partial removal of the intestine to treat conditions like ineffective medication in Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis (colectomy)
  • Hernia repair or removal to cure hernias
  • Repair of ruptured or bleeding gastric ulcers
  • Gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery to treat obesity
  • Removal of organs affected by malignant tumors, such as the uterus, prostate, liver, intestines, kidneys, or bladder
  • Treatment of ectopic pregnancies to remove the embryo and prevent damage to the fallopian tubes
  • Removal of fibroids
  • Hysterectomy for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, excessive menstrual flow, or pain.

Laparoscopic/Minimally Invasive Examination and Surgical Fees

Private Hospital / Medical CenterFees
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
  • Union Hospital Appendectomy (Laparoscopic): $103,631
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $96,607
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $198,546
  • Unilateral Inguinal Hernia Repair (Small Bowel): $92,384
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: $163,716
  • Laparoscopic Myomectomy: $140,999
  • Unilateral Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $112,589
St. Paul’s Hospital
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $79,389
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $194,175
  • Hernia Repair (Laparoscopic): $33,624
  • Laparoscopic-Assisted Hysterectomy: $157,157
  • Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $96,794
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Stubbs Road
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $108,079
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $176,385
  • Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair (Small Bowel): $79,169 / $52,588 (Day Surgery)
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $130,762
  • Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $84,501
Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $72,336
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $148,042
  • Hernia Repair (Laparoscopic): $62,448
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $101,419
  • Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $75,695
Canossa Hospital
  • Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair: $62,448
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $72,336
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $148,042
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $101,419
  • Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $75,695
Matilda & War Memorial Hospital
  • Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair: $76,841
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $90,253
  • Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $90,253
Saint Teresa’s Hospital
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $77,290
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $172,859
  • Hernia Repair (Laparoscopic): $68,395 / $53,741 (Day Surgery)
  • Laparoscopic-Assisted Hysterectomy: $123,908
    Ovarian Cystectomy (Laparoscopic): $83,742
Hong Kong Baptist Hospital
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: $78,172
  • Laparoscopic Colon Resection: $179,535
  • Laparoscopic Hernia Repair: $63,740
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $132,925
  • Laparoscopic Oophorectomy: $81,880
Evangel Hospital
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $65,063
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $182,539
  • Hernia Repair (Laparoscopic): $55,137
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $87,737
  • Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy: $71,763
Precious Blood Hospital (Caritas)
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $76,027
  • Laparoscopic Hernia Repair: $47,915
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen Wan
  • Cholecystectomy (Laparoscopic): $89,399
  • Colon Resection (Laparoscopic): $168,543
  • Hernia Repair (Laparoscopic): $47,138
  • Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy: $82,836
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: $115,696
Union Hospital
  • Hernia Repair: $45,260
  • Cholecystectomy: $77,590
  • Colon Resection: $178,600
  • Hysterectomy: $95,900
  • Ovarian Cystectomy: $80,890
CUHK Medical Centre
  • Laparoscopic Bilateral Inguinal Hernia Repair: $81,080 (level 1) / $107,050 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Unilateral Inguinal Hernia Repair: $61,090 (Day Surgery) / $63,090 (level 1) / $80,750 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Appendectomy – Simple: $64,500 (level 1) / $82,460 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Appendectomy – Abscess: $141,900 (level 1) / $181,412 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: $71,330 (level 1) / $94,160 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Left-Sided Colectomy: $184,780 (level 1) / $258,740 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Right-Sided Colectomy: $141,040 (level 1) / $186,100 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Vaginal Hysterectomy: $83,560 (level 1) / $110,300 (level 2)
  • Laparoscopic Oophorectomy: $74,500 (level 1) / $98,360 (level 2)
Hospital Authority
  • Second Category Medium Operation: $30,450-37,800 (Including Laparoscopic Appendectomy, Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)
  • First Category Large Operation: $37,800-48,850 (Including Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy)
  • Second Category Large Operation: $48,850-59,950 (Including Laparoscopic Colon Resection, Laparoscopic Hysterectomy)
  • NoteThe above data was obtained from official websites on January 16, 2022. The prices listed are the 50th percentile total charges for regular wards and are provided for reference purposes only.

Laparoscopy/Minimally Invasive Examination and Surgery Insurance Notes

Most laparoscopic surgeries are covered by voluntary health medical scheme. Bowtie’s voluntary health medical scheme fexi Plan allows customers to choose their coverage and only requires a monthly fee of $200 (uniform charge for all ages). By purchasing Bowtie’s Gleneagles Hospital Medical and Health Combo, designated surgeries or examinations can be fully compensated*. Some of the laparoscopic procedures covered include:

  • Laparoscopic-assisted total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy ($126,700)
  • Laparoscopic myomectomy ($107,700)
  • Laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy ($85,100)
  • Laparoscopic ectopic pregnancy removal ($88,500)
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy +/- tubal patency test ($40,500)
  • Laparoscopic bilateral tubal ligation ($48,300)
  • *Full compensation refers to the coverage limit of the voluntary medical insurance Flexi Plan policy year.
  • ^The above prices are the total package prices provided by Gleneagles Hospital for reference. The Bowtie Medical Information Team collected this information on January 18, 2021, from the official website.

Examination/Surgery Procedure and Steps

Most laparoscopic procedures are performed under general anesthesia. During the surgery, the patient is positioned with the head down and feet up to allow gravity to move the organs away from the pelvis, facilitating the laparoscopic procedure.

The surgeon will make one or two small incisions on the patient’s abdominal skin. The first incision (approximately 1 to 1.5 cm) is made below the navel, and through this incision, the surgeon will insert a cannula to introduce carbon dioxide into the abdominal cavity. This is mainly done to create space inside the abdominal cavity, allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the internal organs and facilitating disease diagnosis or surgical treatment.

The second incision is usually used to insert the laparoscope, which is equipped with a light source and a camera. The location of this incision depends on the position of the organ being examined. Once the laparoscope is inserted, the surgeon directly examines the intended area using the images transmitted through the laparoscope or displayed on a TV monitor.

If a surgical treatment is required, the surgeon will make additional small incisions on the skin to insert the necessary surgical instruments. For example, in the case of appendix removal, the surgeon may need to make a third small incision in the abdomen to guide the instruments for the removal procedure, guided by the images from the laparoscope.

After the completion of the entire laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon will remove all instruments, release the carbon dioxide gas from the abdomen through the laparoscope, and then suture all incisions, applying appropriate dressings.

Pre-Examination/Surgery Preparation

  1. During the menstrual cycle, appropriate contraceptive measures should be taken to ensure that the surgery is performed without pregnancy.
  2. Before admission, patients should bathe at home with disinfectant soap and thoroughly clean the surgical site (abdomen).
  3. Since one of the incisions is near the navel, it is recommended to clean the navel with a cotton swab soaked in soap the day before the surgery.
  4. After the surgery, there may be a small amount of vaginal bleeding, and the patient should bring a sufficient number of sanitary pads to the hospital.
  5. Patients should bring loose clothing to the hospital for easy changing when discharged to avoid touching the wound and causing pain.
  6. If the surgery is arranged as a day surgery, an adult should be arranged to accompany the discharge at an appropriate time.
  7. You should not eat or drink at least 6 hours before the surgery.
  8. Before the surgery, personal clothing or jewelry should be removed and replaced with a surgical gown provided by the hospital.
  9. If the patient has nail polish, it should be wiped off before admission.
  10. Patients need to stop taking blood thinners or anticoagulants a few days before the surgery as directed by the doctor.

Examination/Surgery Risks and side effects

Laparoscopic examination or surgery is a lower risk medical procedure, but there may be potential side effects:

  • Infection and inflammation of the abdominal wound
  • Bleeding or bruising of the skin near the abdominal wound
  • Nausea or dizziness caused by anesthesia
  • Damage to nearby blood vessels, intestines, or urinary organs
  • As laparoscopic surgery requires the injection of carbon dioxide to expand the abdomen, too much carbon dioxide can stimulate the diaphragm, causing pain in both shoulders, and there is also a chance that air may enter the arteries/veins causing subcutaneous emphysema after the operation.
  • Severe allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • As more complex laparoscopic surgeries take longer, patients may accumulate blood clots in their leg veins due to lying down for a long period of time, which can lead to severe deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

FAQ

What should I pay attention to in my diet after laparoscopic surgery?
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat more fruits and vegetables to avoid straining the abdomen due to constipation, which may affect the healing of wounds in the abdominal cavity.
  • If necessary, take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor. After surgery, you may feel dizzy or nauseous because the effects of the anesthetic have not completely dissipated.
  • You can first eat lighter foods such as soup and porridge that are easier to digest.
  • You should avoid eating more irritating foods after the operation.
What should I know about post-operative care after laparoscopic surgery?
  • During the surgery, carbon dioxide will be injected into the abdominal incision, so pain in the shoulder or ribs is a normal sequelae. If the pain is unbearable, you can ask the medical staff for painkillers.
  • After laparoscopic surgery, the wound is very small and the pain is lower, so patients are often encouraged to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible to avoid pneumonia caused by long-term bed rest.
    Doctors usually cover the postoperative wound with waterproof dressings. It is recommended to pay attention to whether there is bleeding or excessive exudation on the dressing, and to go to the hospital regularly after discharge for the doctor to examine the wound.
  • After the operation, you should avoid vigorous exercise or lifting heavy objects to avoid overuse of the abdominal muscles.
  • When coughing or sneezing, you should press to fix the abdominal wound to reduce the pain caused by vibration.
  • If the following situations occur, you should seek medical attention immediately: fever, severe lower abdominal pain, red, swollen, hot and painful wounds, abnormal secretions or odors.
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