DURATION: 30-60 minutes
ANAESTHESIA/PAIN RELIEF: General anaesthetic.
RECOVERY TIME: Up to a week after procedure.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Refrain from eating or drinking for 6 hours before the procedure; you may be asked to stop taking certain medications in the days leading up to the procedure.
SUITABLE FOR: Patients seeking a clear diagnosis for abdominal or pelvic pain.
Abdominal or pelvic pain is a common complaint amongst women. And whilst the cause of these uncomfortable symptoms can often be identified by routine physical examinations or imaging procedures such as ultrasound scans, there are times when these minimally invasive procedures will fail to provide a clear diagnosis. In instances such as this, it’s normally advisable to undergo a diagnostic laparoscopy.
As a more invasive method of investigation, a diagnostic laparoscopy gives medical specialists improved access to the organs located in your abdominal and pelvic regions in order to gain a clearer understanding of the cause of your pain. This is a procedure that can be used to both diagnose and treat a range of gynaecological conditions. Most patients can go home on the day the procedure is performed.
How is a diagnostic laparoscopy performed?
A diagnostic laparoscopy will usually be carried out under general anaesthetic (while you are asleep). As this procedure begins, a small incision is made to your abdomen and CO2 gas is placed into your abdomen. This provides a better view of your internal organs and the tissue that surrounds them so they may be inspected effectively.
After this, a narrow telescope with a light and a camera, known as a laparoscope, is passed through your abdominal wall. This feeds real-time magnified images to an external monitor, facilitating accurate assessment of the pelvic and abdominal tissues and organs. During this internal exploration, samples of fluid, tissue or lesions such as endometriosis may be taken for further analysis in the laboratory to confirm the nature of any changes seen.
Sometimes conditions can be treated such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis or even major surgeries can be performed such as hysterectomy with the guidance of the laparoscope. Once your procedure has come to an end, the small cuts on your abdomen will be stitched and glued and you will gradually woken round from the anaesthetic.
What can be diagnosed via a diagnostic laparoscopy?
A diagnostic laparoscopy can be used to identify a series of health concerns, ranging from those affecting the digestive system to those that have a bearing on the reproductive organs. In regards to the latter, this form of investigative procedure is well-known for its ability to attribute pelvic and abdominal pain to a range of acute and chronic conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and even cancer.
When analysed, the samples of tissue or fluid taken can confirm the clinical diagnosis.
You’re in safe hands
Specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of gynaecological conditions for over 25 years, Mr Francis Gardner has carried out thousands of investigative procedures and has built a reputation for safe and effective treatment with the lowest complication rates. To book in for a diagnostic laparoscopy, or an initial consultation or One Stop See and Treat clinic, with Mr Gardner, please get in touch today.
Owing to the smaller incisions made to the body, diagnostic laparoscopy is a widely known form of keyhole surgery. This means that this procedure can be completed more quickly with less chance of scarring and pain during recovery.
Yes. Although it’s not always necessary to perform a biopsy during this procedure, each diagnostic laparoscopy is different and this will be discussed with you during your initial consultation and a thorough explanation will be given after the procedure supported by a written letter.
Very. This is a commonly performed procedure, so the chances of encountering complications are rare. However, as with all forms of surgery, there is a certain amount of risk. Complications can range from minor infection and bleeding to organ or artery damage, blood clots and allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. Mr Gardner has a reputation for putting safety as the highest priority in the care of his patients.