Laparoscopy

Using a laparoscope, doctors check the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus for disease and physical problems like cysts, endometriosis or ectopic pregnancy. It used to be part of an initial fertility workup, but because of the cost and invasive nature of laparoscopy it should not be the first procedure or diagnostic test. In general, semen analysis, hysterosalpingogram and documentation of ovulation should be assessed first.

The procedure

It is an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia in an operating room. You wear a hospital gown. You have an IV (intravenous) line placed in your arm.

During laparoscopy, a tiny camera is inserted through a very small incision (less than an inch long), usually in or just below your navel. A gas such as carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide is pumped into your abdomen to help lift your abdominal wall off of your pelvic and abdominal organs so that the camera can view them clearly.

A wide variety of instruments are useful in laparoscopy. These include instruments that can cut and place clips onto internal structures, burn away scar tissue or painful areas in the pelvis, or remove small biopsy samples or even whole internal organs (often in pieces so that larger incisions are not necessary). Your doctor can see the work he or she is doing by watching a television screen.

At the end of the surgery, the instruments are withdrawn, the gas is removed, and the incisions are stitched closed. Your anesthesia is stopped so that you can wake up within a few minutes after your laparoscopy is finished.

Side Effects May Include

  • Nausea
  • Pain around the cuts made in your abdomen
  • Scratchy throat if a breathing tube was used during general anesthesia
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Discharge (like your period) that lasts a few days
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Tender navel
  • Shoulder pain

 


 
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