Pelvic laparoscopy is surgery to examine pelvic organs. It uses a viewing tool called a laparoscope. The surgery is also used to treat certain diseases of the pelvic organs.
Celioscopy; Band-aid surgery; Pelviscopy; Gynecologic laparoscopy; Exploratory laparoscopy - gynecologic
While you are deep asleep and pain-free under general anesthesia, the doctor makes a half-inch (1.25 centimeters) surgical cut in the skin below the belly button. Carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the abdomen to help the doctor see the organs more easily.
The laparoscope, an instrument that looks like a small telescope with a light and a video camera, is inserted so the doctor can view the area.
Other instruments may be inserted through other small cuts in the lower abdomen. While watching a video monitor, the doctor is able to:
After the laparoscopy, the carbon dioxide gas is released, and the cuts are closed.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Laparoscopy uses a smaller surgical cut than open surgery. Most people who have this procedure are able to return home the same day. The smaller incision also means that the recovery is faster. There is less blood loss with laparoscopic surgery and less pain after surgery.
Pelvic laparoscopy is used both for diagnosis and treatment. It may be recommended for:
A pelvic laparoscopy may also be done to:
Risks for any pelvic surgery include:
Laparoscopy is safer than an open procedure for correcting the problem.
Before the Procedure
Always tell your health care provider:
During the days before surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
After the Procedure
You will spend some time in a recovery area as you wake up from the anesthesia.
Many people are able to go home the same day as the procedure. Sometimes, you may need to stay overnight, depending on what surgery was done using the laparoscope.
The gas pumped into the abdomen may cause abdominal discomfort for 1 to 2 days after the procedure. Some people feel neck and shoulder pain for several days after a laparoscopy because the carbon dioxide gas irritates the diaphragm. As the gas is absorbed, this pain will go away. Lying down can help decrease the pain.
You will get a prescription for pain medicine or be told what over-the-counter pain medicines you can take.
You may go back to your normal activities within 1 to 2 days. However, DO NOT lift anything over 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) for 3 weeks after surgery to decrease your risk of getting a hernia in your incisions.
Depending on what procedure is done, you can usually begin sexual activities again as soon as any bleeding has stopped. If you have had a hysterectomy, you need to wait a longer period before having sexual intercourse again. Ask your provider what is recommended for the procedure you are having.
Call your provider if you have:
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Carlson SM, Goldberg J, Lentz GM. Endoscopy: hysteroscopy and laparoscopy: indications, contraindications, and complications. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 10.
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Review Date: 1/14/2018
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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