A diagnostic laparoscopy is keyhole surgery performed to help find the cause of symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility and to assist your doctor to make a diagnosis.
What is a diagnostic laparoscopy?
Diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows your surgeon to look inside the organs in your abdomen (stomach, liver, gallbladder, small and large bowel and appendix) or pelvis (fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus).
Laparoscopy surgery uses small cuts to see the inner parts of your abdomen and pelvis rather than larger cuts that are used in open surgery.
Diagnostic laparoscopy is used to diagnose:
- endometriosis – where small pieces of your womb lining are found outside your womb
- fibroids – non-cancerous tumours that grow in or around your womb
- ovarian cyst – fluid-filled sac in your ovary
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – a bacterial infection of your upper genital tract (womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries)
- ectopic pregnancy – your pregnancy develops outside your womb
- pelvic floor disorders – include urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
- female infertility
- undescended testicles – common for boys to be born without one or both testicles in their scrotum
- appendicitis – painful swelling of your appendix
- unexplained pelvic or abdominal pain
- cancers – biopsy sample of suspected cancerous tissue is collected and sent for laboratory analysis. Detects ovarian, pancreatic, liver, bile duct and gall bladder cancers.
Diagnostic laparoscopy is typically performed under general anaesthetic and takes 30 to 60 minutes. It involves making a small cut near your belly button and inserting a thin tube containing a light and camera, known as a laparoscope, to look inside your abdomen and pelvis.
Carbon dioxide gas is used to inflate your stomach and allows your surgeon to see your organs properly. Your surgeon has a clear view of the whole area on a TV monitor in the operating theatre.
How do you prepare for a diagnostic laparoscopy?
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for six to 12 hours before your diagnostic laparoscopy but you can continue to drink water until you come in for your procedure. Before your diagnostic laparoscopy you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home because you must not drive for at least 24 hours afterwards.
If you take blood-thinning medication, such as aspirin or warfarin, you may be asked to stop taking it a few days beforehand to prevent excessive bleeding during the procedure.
If you smoke, you may be advised to stop in the lead-up to your operation as it can delay healing and increase your risk of complications such as infection.
What is the recovery process after a diagnostic laparoscopy?
Diagnostic laparoscopy is a day case procedure so you should be able to go home on the same day.
You may feel a bit groggy and disorientated due to the anaesthetic. This will wear off.
You can expect some pain and discomfort in your lower stomach area for a day or two after your diagnostic laparoscopy. Some of the gas used to inflate your abdomen may be left inside your abdomen and can cause bloating, cramping and shoulder pain. We will provide you with painkillers as required.
Tiredness is common after a laparoscopy as your body uses energy to heal itself.
You can expect to be able to resume your normal activities within five days.
What is the cost of a surgery for diagnostic laparoscopy?
You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation and any required tests with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote for your diagnostic laparoscopy surgery will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.
Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Diagnostic laparoscopy is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before starting your treatment.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your diagnostic laparoscopy yourself. These include:
- Interest-free finance – 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments.
- All-inclusive Total Care - one-off pre-agreed payment for access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance.
- Pay as you go – flexible funding to pay for treatment as and when costs arise. Often used if your treatment costs are difficult to assess.
Diagnostic laparoscopy at Ramsay Health Care UK
At Ramsay Health Care UK, we understand it can be an anxious time when you have a diagnostic laparoscopy to find out the reason for your symptoms, get a diagnosis, have a biopsy and wait for the results, and possibly have treatment at the same time. Our compassionate teams are here to support you at all times.
Our highly regarded and experienced surgeons routinely perform diagnostic laparoscopy, so you can rest-assured you are in expert and safe hands.
We offer rapid access to appointments so won’t have to wait for a consultation, your diagnostic laparoscopy procedure or any further treatment that may be required.
All Ramsay hospitals follow strict protocols to keep you and of our staff as safe as possible whilst at our hospitals.