What is a laparoscopy and dye test?

A laparoscopy and dye test is an operation using keyhole surgery to help find out why you are having difficulty becoming pregnant. The dye test will show if your fallopian tubes are blocked (see figure 1). The laparoscopy will help to find out if you have endometriosis, pelvic infection, adhesions, ovarian cysts or fibroids. For some women minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

What are the benefits of surgery?

A laparoscopy and dye test may help your doctor find out the cause of your infertility.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

An x-ray or an ultrasound test can show if your tubes are blocked.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 15 minutes.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen.

They will insert instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation. They will inject dye, which passes down your fallopian tubes.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots

2 Specific complications

  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts
  • Surgical emphysema
  • Failure to find out what the problem is
  • Failed procedure
  • Infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the laparoscopy and dye test and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Rest for one to two days and take painkillers if you need them.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Summary

A laparoscopy and dye test helps to find out the cause of certain gynaecological problems associated with infertility. For some women minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Jeremy Hawe MBChB MRCOG and Dr Clare Myers MBBS FRANZCOG

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com


This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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