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, or
  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 a small
   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 the
   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 up
   to 1 week.

• Minimally invasive or 'key-hole' surgery can be performed
   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.