What is the purpose of gynae laparoscopy?
Gynae laparoscopy can be divided into diagnostic and therapeutic. In many cases, gynae laparoscopy can serve both purposes in the same setting.
Diagnostic laparoscopy allows your gynaecologist to examine your pelvis surgically and diagnose diseases that involve your uterus, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries.
Therapeutic laparoscopy allows your gynaecologist to treat diseases involving your pelvis.
Conditions that can be treated using gynae laparoscopy include:
These are non-cancerous growths that develop from the muscle layer of the uterus and are commonly found in women from 30 to 50 years old. Fibroids can be single or multiple, have varying shapes and can cause symptoms such as heavy, long, painful periods, anaemia (low blood count), pressure symptoms (difficulty passing urine or motion), abdominal bloatedness, and depending on their location, miscarriages or infertility.
There are many different types of ovarian cysts and not all cysts require treatment. Surgery is usually recommended if the ovarian cyst is large, causing symptoms or is suspicious for cancer. Large ovarian cysts can sometimes burst, bleed or cause the ovary to twist – called an ovarian cyst accident, this can result in severe pain, nausea, vomiting and fainting.
This is a condition where the tissue from the uterine lining grows into the muscle wall of the uterus; these tissues respond to hormonal changes and continue to bleed during periods, resulting in an enlarged swollen uterus and causing heavy, prolonged, painful periods and anaemia (low blood count) in severe cases.
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus when a fertilized egg implants itself before reaching the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy is not a normal pregnancy and cannot be turned into one, as the only place that can sustain a pregnancy is the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can rupture and cause massive, life-threatening internal bleeding – laparoscopic surgery in these cases can be life-saving.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the uterine lining is found outside the uterus. Gynae laparoscopy may be required if your symptoms are severe and/or uncontrollable with hormonal medications, or if your endometriosis is complicated by large ovarian endometriomas (“chocolate” cysts), or if you are facing problems getting pregnant.
In some cases of female infertility, a gynae laparoscopy can be helpful to diagnose (and treat) certain causes of infertility, including pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, blocked or swollen fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx) etc. In many cases, laparoscopy can be combined with hydrotubation, a dye test performed to determine fallopian tube patency.