You may be recommended a laparoscopy if you have any of the following symptoms:
Even if you have one or all of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you will require a laparoscopy. However, these are the most common symptoms of the conditions which are detected and treated with a laparoscopy. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms we recommend you speak to a specialist.
A laparoscopy can both diagnose and treat a range of gynaecological conditions including:
Your gynaecologist may be able to treat you during the same procedure, or decide that you need treatment in a second laparoscopic operation at a later date.
Laparoscopy is a keyhole procedure, which means that it does not require any large incisions across your tummy. It is minimally invasive and requires a much shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery, and often causes less pain and complications post-surgery.
Laparoscopy is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you will not be awake during the procedure.
A small incision is made near your belly button. The laparoscope is then inserted through this incision. Your consultant will pump carbon dioxide gas into your tummy to open it up and see your organs more clearly. The laparoscope has a camera on the end which will clearly show your consultant the inside of your tummy and pelvic area. If you are having a diagnostic laparoscopy, your consultant should be able to identify the cause of your problems from these images.
If laparoscopy is being used for treatment, further small cuts will be made in your abdomen for small surgical instruments to be passed through. Your consultant will use the laparoscope to guide these instruments to the right place and carry out whichever treatment you need.
After the procedure, the carbon dioxide will be released from your abdomen and your consultant will close the incisions with stitches or clips, and usually apply a dressing.
A laparoscopy is a very common and succesful procedure, and is considered low risk. However, as with any surgery, there are always potential risks and complications, including:
Mr Y. Afifi has over 25 years of experience in specialised laparoscopic and reproductive surgeries.
He is the director of the Birmingham Endometriosis Centre and lead consultant of the reproductive surgery unit in Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
Ruchira is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with her NHS practice based at Birmingham Women's Hospital in Edgbaston. She is the Clinical Director of Gynaecology at her NHS Trust.
Ruchira is a reviewer for European Journal of Obstetrics and gynaecology. She is also a Senior clinical examiner and Honorary lecturer for University of Birmingham.