Diagnostic Laparoscopy

This webpage will give you information about a diagnostic laparoscopy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or relevant health professional.

What is a diagnostic laparoscopy?

A diagnostic laparoscopy is an operation to look at the abdominal and pelvic organs using a small telescope. In some circumstances, minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

 A diagnostic laparoscopy will help to find out if you have endometriosis, pelvic infection, adhesions, damaged fallopian tubes, an ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts or fibroids.

What are the benefits of surgery?

A diagnostic laparoscopy may allow your doctor to find out the cause of your symptoms.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

A scan may be used to find the cause of your symptoms.

What does the operation involve?

A diagnostic laparoscopy is usually performed under a general anaesthetic.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen (see Figure 1).

Diagnostic Laparoscopy


They will place surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.


What complications can happen?

1 General complications of any operation

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

2 Specific complications of this operation

  • Damage to the abdominal wall or internal organs
  • 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. A member of the healthcare team will tell you the results of the laparoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

You should rest for the first one to two days.

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


A diagnostic laparoscopy helps to find out the cause of certain gynaecological problems. Some minor treatments can be performed at the same time.


Author: Mr Jeremy Hawe MBChB MRCOG

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © 2011 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.

 Copyright © 2011 EIDO Healthcare Limited

The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Ramsay Health Care UK.

The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited.

You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use.


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