Laparoscopy and dye test

This webpage will give you information about a laparoscopy and dye test. If you have any questions, you should ask your relevant health professional.

What is a laparoscopy and dye test?

A laparoscopy and dye test is an operation to help find out why you are having difficulty becoming pregnant. The dye test will show if your fallopian tubes are blocked. The laparoscopy will help find out if you have endometriosis, pelvic infection, adhesions, ovarian cysts or fibroids. Some 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?

A laparoscopy and dye test is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about fifteen minutes.

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

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

Diagnostic Laparoscopy

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 the abdominal wall or internal organs
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts
  • Surgical emphysema
  • Failed procedure
  • Infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

A member of the healthcare team will tell you the results of the laparoscopy and dye test 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 laparoscopy and dye test helps to find out the cause of infertility. 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.

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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