A laparoscopy is a surgical (operative) procedure done under a general anaesthetic. A telescope (laparoscope) is inserted into your abdomen through a small cut at the umbilicus and the doctor can directly see the tubes, ovaries and pelvis. Any small problems encountered can be dealt with immediately eg ovarian cysts. There are advantages to directly visualise your reproductive organs, but the necessity for a general anaesthetic, surgery and the associated risks makes this the second choice for most doctors. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) will often be enough.
Diagram of a laparoscopy procedure. The gynaecologist inserts a telescope through the umbilicus and looks closely at the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and surrounding organs to detect abnormalities. The picture below shows what he will see:
- fallopian tubes
- ovaries – these are white in colour