Laparoscopy is a procedure in which a small camera (laparoscope) is placed into the abdomen for visualization and operation on the pelvic and abdominal organs.

There are several reasons why this procedure may be recommended by your doctor. These include:

  • Evaluation and treatment of infertility
  • Evaluation and treatment of endometriosis, masses or cysts in the pelvis
  • Treatment of fibroid tumors of the uterus
  • Voluntary sterilization
  • Diagnosis and treatment of a variety of abdominal disorders

There are several possible complications involved in laparoscopy including bleeding, infection and the possibility of perforation of the intra-abdominal organs such as bowel, bladder or liver and intra-abdominal blood vessels.

Procedure Description

Laparoscopy is typically performed in an outpatient surgical facility or hospital under general anesthesia. An instrument is placed in the vagina to help move the uterus around and a small incision is made in the patient’s navel. A needle is inserted into this incision and the abdomen is distended with carbon dioxide. The laparoscope is advanced into the abdomen and is connected to a high intensity light and a high resolution television camera so that the doctor can see what is happening inside of you. The laparoscope can be used to perform surgeries like appendix and gallbladder removal, diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy, tubal ligation, aspiration and excision of ovarian cyst, and multiple other abdominal and gynecological procedures.

The laparoscope is removed, and the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape from the abdomen. Small sutures under the skin and an adhesive bandage are used to close the wound. You will usually be able to go home the same day as the procedure was performed. There will be mild soreness around any incision site but your pain symptoms should improve every day. You may have aches in your shoulders and chest from the carbon dioxide that was used to inflate your abdomen. This pain will spontaneously resolve. Allow a week for recovery from your surgery. You may resume driving 24 hours after recovery from surgery and sexual relations may be resumed in 2 weeks after recovery from surgery.