A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat problems of the genital and pelvic areas. During this procedure, an endoscope (tube) with a camera on the end is inserted through a tiny incision that allows your doctor to closely examine the organs of the area. Surgical instruments can be inserted through additional incisions to treat any identified problems.
Technological advances have brought computers and laparoscopic instruments to the forefront of surgical approaches. This provides patients with a minimally invasive technique that can be utilized in a wide range of procedures.
A laparoscopic procedure may be performed for a number of reasons, including:
- Perform a biopsy
- Examine and possibly remove any growths
- Diagnose and treat endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Perform endometrial ablation to treat heavy menstrual periods
- Remove fibroids
- Check for metastasis of cancer
- Perform a tubal ligation
- Remove organs such as the uterus, one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes
- Determine the cause of pelvic pain
- Determine the cause of infertility
The laparoscopy is performed under general anesthesia and generally takes 30 to 90 minutes, depending on what is done during the procedure. Laparoscopic surgery significantly shortens a patient’s recovery time resulting in fewer complications as compared to traditional open surgery. Patients can go home shortly after the procedure and return to work and other normal activities the next day. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a week. Laparoscopy is considered a safe procedure with little risk of complications.