The term laparoscopy comes from the Greek ‘laparo’ meaning abdomen and ‘scopy’ to look for.  Therefore, laparoscopy means to look in the abdomen. It is used to investigate and diagnose abnormalities.

The operation

This is performed under a general anesthetic. A small cut is made near your umbilicus (tummy button) and another just above the pubic hair. The laparoscope is inserted and your abdomen is gently inflated to allow the doctor to see your ovaries, tubes and outside your womb.


Frequently occurring risks: Bruising, shoulder tip pain, wound gaping, infection.

Serious risks: Failure to gain entry in abdominal cavity, hernia at site of entry <1% . There is a 2 in 1000   risk of damaging the bowel or bladder when inserting the laparoscope and an open operation may be necessary to either complete the operation or repair the damage.  Death 3-8/100 000 women. Up to 15% of bowel injuries might not be diagnosed at the time of laparoscopy.

Obviously, a longer period of hospital stay is required if there are complications.
Use reliable contraception since the start of periods in the cycle you are going to have operation, pregnancy test will be done before operation but it cannot detect very early pregnancy. 

After the operation

Following the operation, you may be aware of   some discomfort in your abdomen, shoulders and under your ribs for a few days. This is quite normal.  Pain relief medication such as paracetamol should help.  If you are still having pain, you could try Ibuprofen.

Your abdomen may feel and look bloated – this is to be expected and will return to normal in a few days. There will be two plasters on your abdomen where the small cuts were made. You will be allowed a drink fairly soon after being brought back to the Day Ward.

Discharge advice

Most women go home the same day. The small plasters on your abdomen can be removed the day after your operation. You may bath or shower. Carefully dry the areas. The stitches are usually dissolvable and go away on their own, so do not worry about them. Your nurse will give you a letter to take with you. You may experience some slight vaginal bleeding. This should settle after a few days. Use sanitary pads, not tampons, until the bleeding stops.

Ref: 14-16-147
Review 07/2022