30 May Overview of Diagnostic Laparoscopy for Infertility Workup
A diagnostic laparoscopy is used to view a woman’s reproductive tract, structures, and organs. The female laparoscopy is a test that involves using a thin tube with a camera, which is inserted into the pelvic cavity. The laparoscopy is recommended when other tests do not uncover the cause of infertility.
What is the purpose of laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is used for:
- Determining a stage of cancer
- Checking for abdomen or pelvic injury
- Evaluate internal bleeding
- Assess the cause of pelvic pain
- Look for endometriosis and scarring
- Remove fibroids or polyps
How do I prepare for the laparoscopy?
You cannot eat or drink after midnight before the surgery, but are permitted to take necessary medications with small sips of water. Wear low-heeled shoes and comfortable clothes the day of the procedure. Do not wear any jewelry, and leave all valuables at home.
How is the laparoscopy performed?
After a nurse places an IV in your arm to administer sedatives, the nurse positions you on a slightly tilted table. The anesthesia is given to relax your muscles during surgery as well as prevent pain. A small incision is made near the umbilicus (belly button), and the small laparoscope is inserted. The abdomen is inflated with a special gas to make the organs visible. The surgeon also uses small instruments to remove scar tissue and take tissue samples.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the laparoscopy, the patient stays in the recovery room for about one hour. A nurse monitors vital signs and your condition during this time. Afterwards, you are discharged home, but a few patients must stay overnight. You must rest for the remainder of the day, but should avoid any heavy activity. Bathing is permitted after the procedure, but you cannot drive for 24 hours due to sedatives and anesthesia. Patients may return to work after 2-4 days, and the incision bandage can be removed after a few days.
How safe is the laparoscopy?
As with any minor procedure, the laparoscopy has a few risks to consider. While rare, possible complications include injury to organs, infection, and bleeding. Your abdomen will be swollen and sore for a few days, and you should take Tylenol for pain. Because intubation is required, a sore throat is expected. We recommend eating soup and toast to relieve any nausea. Vaginal bleeding for up to one month is expected following the surgery.
What are the benefits of a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure?
- Earlier return to full activities
- Quicker recovery time
- Less post-operative discomfort
- Much smaller incisions
- Shorter hospital stays