A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a telescope is inserted into the abdomen, usually in the area around the belly button, in order to examine the abdominal and/or pelvic organs. The procedure is used in order to find and help diagnose issues like cysts, adhesions, fibroids and infections. Samples of tissue for biopsy can be taken through the tube or laparoscope.

A laparoscopy is usually performed under general anesthesia, but in some instances is done under local anesthesia only. A laparoscopy is considered to be 'diagnostic' if used only to look at the organs, and is 'therapeutic' when additional surgery is done during the procedure. Laparoscopy is often used as an alternative to laparotomy for minor surgeries as the latter requires a larger incision in the abdomen and may involve higher costs, and additional stress and recovery time.

Laparoscopy is performed in order to:

  • Look for abnormal growths (like tumors) in the abdomen or pelvis. These may also be removed during the procedure.
  • Look for and treat conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and endometriosis.
  • Diagnose conditions that may be causing infertility such as: fibroids, adhesions, cysts, and infections.
  • Perform a biopsy.
  • Check whether cancer has spread to the belly from another part of the body. 
  • Look for damage to internal organs (like the spleen) after an injury.
  • Perform a tubal ligation
  • Fix hiatal or inguinal hernia.
  • Removes organs like spleen, uterus, gallbladder, ovaries or appendix.
  • Diagnose cause of pelvic pain.

Laparoscopy for Diagnosing Infertility

Chromopertubation is a procedure usually done during laparoscopy in order to visualize the fallopian tubes to see if they are patent or open. It's done during an infertility work-up. It is a procedure where a colored dye is passed through the fallopian tubes to confirm that they are patent. The procedure is done under anesthesia and during laparoscopy.

A chromopertubation may be called for if a patient is undergoing a surgical procedure where the fallopian tubes are visible. A dye can be introduced into the uterine cavity being injected through the cervical canal during the procedure and then observed as it comes out of the ends of the tubes into the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity.

Sometimes tubal occlusion as well as adhesions can not be detected completely by looking at the fallopian tubes, so additional tests may be necessary to provide a full evaluation.


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