Dr. Chew Answers: What is a laparoscopy?

If you're dealing with infertility, you may need to have a laparoscopy done. Gynecologist Dr. Chew explains the procedure and what you should know.

A laparoscopy is a common procedure that allows the gynaecologist to look directly at the reproductive organs, including the uterus (womb), the fallopian tubes (the passage way for the sperm to meet the egg) and the ovaries (the organs that produce the egg).

Why have a laparoscopy?

The purpose of the examination is to find out the causes of infertility, such as blocked fallopian tubes or the presence of endometriosis (lining of the womb growing in other areas), ovarian cysts (sacs containing fluid) or fibroids (muscle growths in the wall of the womb).

Procedure and advantages of a laparoscopy

The procedure is usually done in the hospital under general anaesthesia. A keyhole incision is made at the navel to allow passage of the telescope (laparoscope) and the introduction of carbon dioxide gas, which will create a space for the gynaecologist to work in. The space created also allows for easier viewing and manipulation of the organs.

Procedures such as removal of cyst and fibroid can also be done through the scope, via one or more additional incisions.

Advantages of laparoscopy include shorter hospital stay (usually half a day), faster recovery, and fewer chances of adhesions (scar tissues of intestines sticking to the wound)

For more information from Dr. Chew, visit aLife.org.sg, or ask him something on our Ask Our Experts page.