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Laparoscopy is a commonly performed procedure to inspect the organs of the pelvis (uterus, tubes, ovaries) and abdomen (appendix, liver, gallbladder) using a specially designed telescope. This is carried out under general anaesthesia as a day case, without the need of overnight stay.

If treatment has been carried out, one or more nights stay is recommended. The abdomen is filled with gas by making a 5 or 10mm scar in the belly button. One or two similar scar may be indicated below the bikini line if operative laparoscopy is indicated.

Indications for performing a Diagnostic laparoscopy:

  • Pelvic pain (endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic abscess)
  • Painful sex
  • Infertility: to check the patency of tubes using dye- the tubes are seen with the telescope whilst dye is passed from below.

Indications for performing Operative Laparoscopy:

  • Treatment of utero vaginal prolapse (Sacrocolpopexy and sacrohysteropexy)
  • Treatment of endometriosis
  • Removal of ovarian cysts
  • Hysterectomy
  • Fertility surgery
  • Sterilisation
  • Myomectomy (removal of fibroids)

After Laparoscopy

After a laparoscopy it is usual to have some pain in the tummy and around the shoulder tips. However, this should be treatable with pain relief. It should not limit a woman's ability to mobilise and be discharged. Vaginal bleeding is also quite common but should not be heavier than the worst day of a normal period and should not last more than about two weeks. Following a diagnostic laparoscopy most women take a week off work. Following an operative laparoscopy, most women take two to three weeks off work depending on the complexity of the procedure and other co-existing medical conditions.