Laparoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a range of gynecologic disorders in women.
Gynecologic laparoscopy is a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. It allows your doctor to view the pelvic and abdominal cavities. Diagnostic laparoscopy can determine whether you have certain conditions and, in some instances, treat them.
For example, some gynecologic laparoscopy procedures include:
- Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus with or without the cervix)
- Myomectomy (removal of fibroids)
- Sterilization (tubal ligation)
- Tubal reanastomosis (tubal ligation reversal)
Laparoscopy can diagnose various gynecologic disorders, including:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts or tumors
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic abscess (pus)
- Pelvic adhesions (painful scar tissue)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Reproductive cancers
A laparoscopy may also be used in the diagnostic process for individuals with unexplained pelvic pain or who have a history of pelvic infection.
Gynecologic laparoscopy is usually performed under general anesthesia. A small needle is used to fill your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas to keep the abdominal wall away from your organs, reducing the risk of injury. The surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen, usually below the belly button, and inserts the laparoscope (a slender, lighted telescope). For diagnosis, this may be all your doctor needs to get clear images of your organs. For surgery, other small incisions are made and the necessary instruments are inserted through them.
What to Expect
Skin irritation and bladder infection are common side effects of gynecologic laparoscopy. Other, more serious complications are rare but can include:
- Damage to an abdominal blood vessel, the bladder, the bowel, the uterus and other pelvic structures
- Allergic reactions
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Problems with urinating
The results of laparoscopic procedures are usually good, as this technology allows the surgeon to easily see and diagnose many problems. Tampa General Hospital’s highly trained surgeons perform successful laparoscopy every day to ensure patients get the diagnoses and treatment they need.