Laparoscopy is considered the gold standard for the detection of tubal disease, and should be considered in any patient with risk factors such as a history of sexually transmitted disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, previous pelvic surgery, or appendectomy.
Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to view and treat anatomic abnormalities by using a very small fiber-optic lens inserted through a small incision in the navel. If necessary, additional small incisions are made to allow the use of other specialized surgical instruments during the procedure. For an infertility laparoscopic procedure, the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas, causing the cavity to expand, giving the surgeon a clear view of the reproductive organs. Laparoscopy allows the doctor to evaluate the outside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Compared to procedures performed with larger abdominal incisions, laparoscopies typically result in less discomfort and pain and reduced recovery time. Laparoscopic patients typically can return to normal activities after only two to three days of recovery.
A laparoscopic procedure may be the appropriate choice for the:
- Evaluation of infertility
- Diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis
- Treatment of ovarian cysts
- Removal of uterine fibroids
- Removal of adhesions