Gynaecological laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries and womb (uterus). It can be used to either diagnose a condition, or to allow treatment.
About gynaecological laparoscopy
Gynaecological laparoscopy can be used to:
You may also be suggested a laparoscopy if you have pain in your abdomen because it may help to find out the cause. If you’re having problems getting pregnant, you can have a laparoscopy to see if there are any problems with your ovaries, fallopian tubes or womb.
What are other tests recommended ?
Ultrasound can also be used to diagnose some gynaecological conditions such as fibroids. This investigation uses sound waves to produce an image of the inside of part of your body. There are two types of ultrasound that can be used to diagnose a gynaecological problem. Abdominal ultrasound is when the ultrasound probe is moved over your abdomen. A Trans-vaginal ultrasound is where the ultrasound probe is put into your vagina.
You may be advised a CT or MRI scan to investigate symptoms that suggest the need for further investigation
You will be explained the different procedures and discuss which option is best for you.
Preparing for a gynaecological laparoscopy
If you’re having a gynaecological laparoscopy to diagnose a condition, you will usually have it done as a day-care procedure. This means you have the procedure and go home the same day. If you have a gynaecological laparoscopy to treat a condition, you may or may not need to stay in hospital overnight.
A gynaecological laparoscopy is usually done under anaesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. You will be asked to follow fasting instructions. This means not eating or drinking, typically for about six hours beforehand. However, it’s important to follow the advise given.
At the hospital some blood tests are recommended apart from checking your heart rate, blood pressure, and testing your urine.
Pre anaesthetic Checkup is done to give fitness for the procedure.
Once you are allotted a date, we admit you in a fasting state and according to the OT slot allotted you are taken in for the procedure.
What happens during a gynaecological laparoscopy?
The procedure can take few minutes or more depending on what type of examination or treatment you need.
A tiny cut is made in your belly button. Pneumoperitoneum is created through the cut This expands the abdomen, separates your organs and makes it easier for your doctor to look at your organs with the laparoscope on a monitor. If you need any treatment, or if we need to move some of your organs to get a good view, another 5 mm cut is made lower down on your abdomen. Any surgical instruments that are needed for treatment can be inserted through these cuts. At the end of the procedure, the instruments are taken out of your abdomen and gas allowed to escape through the laparoscope. The cuts are closed with self desolving stitches.
What to expect afterwards
You will need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed and may need pain relief to help with any discomfort. General anaesthesia temporarily affects your co-ordination and reasoning skills, so you must not drive, operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards You will usually be able to go when you feel ready, but will need to arrange for someone to take you home..We will give you some advice about caring for your wounds, hygiene and bathing and you may be given a date for a follow-up appointment.
We may use dissolvable stitches. The length of time your dissolvable stitches will take to disappear depends on what type of procedure you had. However, as a general guide, they should usually disappear in seven days. If you have non-dissolvable stitches you will need to have them taken out.
Recovering from a gynaecological laparoscopy
If you need pain relief, you can take such as paracetamol. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice.
If you have a laparoscopy to diagnose a condition you will need to rest only for a couple of days though this will depend on the type of procedure you had. If you have treatment during the laparoscopy – for example for endometriosis or a hysterectomy – your recovery will take a little longer.
Follow your surgeon’s advice about contraception and when you can have sex again.
Side-effects are the unwanted but mostly temporary effects you may get after having the procedure. For example, you’re likely to feel some pain in your abdomen and you may also have pain in your shoulders. It usually improves within 48 hours.
You may have some bruising on your abdomen around the areas where the laparoscope and any surgical instruments were put in – this usually gets better without treatment.
Most women don’t have any problems after a gynaecological laparoscopy. However, if you develop any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor.
Speak to us for more information.
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