Laparoscopy - This procedure is performed to find the cause of abdominal pain, infertility or other problems in the reproductive organs. In these cases, a physician cannot tell from a physical exam or from a patient's symptoms exactly what is wrong. A look inside the body with a laparoscope is needed.
Laparoscopy often supplies an accurate diagnosis which may lead to more appropriate and specific treatment. Once your procedure is over, your doctor will have a good idea how to proceed with your care.
Laparoscopy is done with a slender telescope-like instrument, called a laparoscope. This is inserted through a small cut below the navel. It is equipped with a lens for a clear view of the abdomen and reproductive organs. A special attachment transmits light down through the tube, into the abdomen, so the doctor can see the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and nearby organs.
If needed, surgical instruments can be inserted through the laparoscope or through another small incision lower in the abdomen. With the aid of the laparoscope and other instruments, pelvic organs can be seen and evaluated, adhesions can be separated and removed and tissue can be sampled.
Laparoscopy is an operation with minimal risk; however, complications occur in about three of every 100 women who have this diagnostic procedure. These complications can include minor problems as well as injuries to nearby organs, bleeding or complications from anesthesia. Talking over the possibilities ahead of time will help you prepare for them. Most often the problems can be treated and corrected.
Hysteroscopy - Hysteroscopy is a way to look inside the uterus. A hysteroscope, a thin, telescope-like instrument that is inserted directly into the uterus through the vagina and cervix, is used. This procedure may be used to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding, infertility, repeated miscarriages, adhesions and abnormal growths, such as polyps and fibroids. Additionally, hysteroscopy may be performed at the same time as laparoscopy.
When hysteroscopy is used to diagnose certain conditions, it may be used to correct them as well. Uterine adhesions, septums or fibroids can often can be removed through the hysteroscope.
Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. Problems such as injury to the cervix or the uterus, infection, heavy bleeding or side effects of the anesthesia occur in less than 1% of cases.
Hysteroscopy can often be performed without the use of general anesthesia. The procedure and recovery time are usually brief.
Hysterosalpingogram - The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray study of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The procedure involves the introduction of radiopaque dye into the uterus through a special instrument. X-ray pictures are then taken as the dye passes from the uterus and out of the ends of the tubes. This test helps to determine that the tubes are open and that the uterus is normally shaped.
During the procedure, you may experience some mild cramping. You may also have cramping along with light bleeding for a day or so after the procedure. These symptoms are to be expected and should not be cause for alarm. You may return to work the same day if you desire.
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