A laparoscopy is a keyhole surgery, and may be recommended to check your tubes are open (tubal patency) and the condition of your uterus and ovaries. It can also treat conditions such as
- tubal microsurgery
- removal of fibroids
- correction of uterine abnormalities.
A laparoscope is introduced through a small incision in the abdomen. A video camera is fitted to an endoscope (a thin telescopic instrument) so the specialist can view the images on a video monitor.
If any surgical treatment is needed, special instruments are inserted through four other small incisions, usually hidden in the pubic hair. When the surgery is complete, the instruments are removed and the carbon dioxide gas is released from the abdominal cavity. A stitch closes each of the small incisions.
Laparoscopy is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about one to two hours. Your recovery will depend on the amount of surgery you need, but we recommend you take one or two days off work following the procedure.
After your operation, you may experience some symptoms that may last for several days, including tiredness, muscle pain, mild nausea, pain or discomfort at the site of the incisions, cramps, a small amount of vaginal discharge or bleeding or a sensation of swelling in the abdomen.
uses another small-diameter telescope called a hysteroscope. This enables to assess the uterine cavity for abnormalities such as polyps, adhesions or fibroids.
Treatment for endometriosis
If your fertility specialist suspects you to have endometriosis, we may be able remove the endometriosis and associated scar tissue at the time of the diagnostic laparoscopy, or give you hormone treatment to suppress the menstrual cycle and inhibit the growth of endometriosis.
Sometimes this treatment for endometriosis will result in a successful pregnancy. If not, IVF may be a good treatment option.
Surgery for fallopian tubes
If you have any damage to your tubes, we can diagnose this during a laparoscopy. If it is likely to affect the success of your IVF, your doctor may recommend tubal surgery to remove scar tissue or to correct tubal damage before starting treatment.
Some types of tubal surgery may be performed through the laparoscope, while other procedures (such as tubal surgery) may require microsurgery.
If tubal surgery does not result in a successful pregnancy – or where damage to the tubes and other pelvic organs is so severe as to make surgery unlikely to be successful – IVF may give you the best chance of success.