Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy
Laparoscopy is used to examine the abdomen to
investigate pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Hysteroscopy is used to examine the uterus to
investigate heavy and/or irregular menstrual bleeding,
postmenopausal bleeding. In both procedures, a small,
fibre-optic 'telescope' is used to see the internal organs.
Both laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are usually
performed under a general anaesthetic as a day-case
procedure and take 15-20 minutes. Hysteroscopy can
also be performed under local anaesthetic as, much
more rarely, can laparoscopy.
In laparoscopy, the instrument is passed through
incision in the abdomen. A second incision may be
made so that a probe can be inserted to manipulate the
organs. Carbon dioxide gas is then pumped into the
abdomen to separate the tissues so that the organs can
be seen more clearly.
In hysteroscopy, the instrument is passed along
vagina and through the cervix in order to examine the
lining of the uterus. No incision is made.
Patients usually recover from hysteroscopy rapidly.
Following laparoscopy, however, patients may
experience a pain similar to a period pain or 'wind' for
to 1 week.
Minimally invasive or 'key-hole' surgery can be
using laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. This has the
advantages of reduced postoperative pain, a shorter
hospital stay, a smaller incision and therefore a better
cosmetic result than conventional surgery.