What is a diagnostic laparoscopy?
A diagnostic laparoscopy is an operation using keyhole surgery to look at your abdominal and pelvic organs. For some women minor treatments can be performed at the same time.
What are the benefits of surgery?
A diagnostic laparoscopy is good for finding out the cause of lower abdominal and pelvic pain, certain period problems and infertility.
The operation will help to find out if you have one of the following conditions.
- Pelvic infection
- Tissues can join together in an abnormal way
- Damaged fallopian tubes
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
It may be appropriate to try to find the cause of your symptoms using a blood test, x-rays and scans.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
Your gynaecologist will make a small cut, usually on or near your umbilicus (belly button), so they can insert an instrument in your abdominal cavity to inflate it with gas (carbon dioxide). They will usually make a further cut on your ‘bikini’ line so they can insert tubes (ports) into your abdomen. Your gynaecologist will insert instruments through the ports along with a telescope so they can see inside your abdomen and perform any minor procedures.
How soon will I recover?
The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the laparoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
You should be able to go home the same day.
Rest for 1 to 2 days and take painkillers if you need them.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
What complications can happen?
Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.
General complications of any operation
- Feeling or being sick
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Unsightly scarring of your skin
- Blood clot in your leg
- Blood clot in your lung
Specific complications of this operation
- Surgical emphysema
- Developing a hernia near one of the cuts used to insert the ports
- Damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
- Making a hole in your womb or cervix with possible damage to a nearby structure
- Failure to find out what the problem is
- Failed procedure
- Infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder