Laparoscopy is a minor surgical procedure during which a laparoscope is used to view the inside of your pelvic cavity.
Laparoscopy is most often a diagnostic procedure, but can also be used to treat many conditions causing infertility.
During a laparoscopy, your physician can see the ovaries, tubes, uterus, and other internal structures allowing him or her to identify any disease processes. If conditions such as endometriosis are present, they can often be treated surgically at the time of the diagnostic laparoscopy.
Laparoscopy: What to Expect
A laparoscopy is an outpatient surgery performed at the hospital under general anesthesia.
In a diagnostic laparoscopy, your physician typically makes 2 to 3 small incisions in the abdomen, 1 at the belly button and 2 others on the lower abdomen near the pubic hair line.
The laparoscope resembles a small telescope and allows the physician to view the inside of the pelvic cavity.
The laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions while operating tools are inserted through the others. The abdomen is filled with gas causing it to expand which makes the operating area visible and the organs more accessible.
Laparoscopies are usually performed by reproductive endocrinologists - surgeons who have years of advanced training and experience in laparoscopic surgery.
When conditions can be surgically treated during the diagnostic laparoscopy it eliminates the need for a second procedure.
Reproductive endocrinologists perform most surgeries using the laparoscope including delicate procedures such as tubal surgery. This greatly reduces potential surgical complications, shortens recovery time, and reduces pain. There is usually no noticeable scarring from the laparoscopy.
After a Laparoscopy
Laparoscopy is very safe and the chance of complication during surgery is very low. The most common complications experienced after laparoscopy are bleeding, infection and injury to the bowel or bladder.
Most patients return home the same day that surgery is performed. Many patients feel drowsy after surgery for one day. Some patients experience cramping or pain from the abdominal incisions, but oral pain relievers prescribed by your physician will help to make you comfortable after surgery.
Most patients return to work within 2 weeks after surgery.