Laparoscopy & dye test
Laparoscopy & dye test is a minor surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia. This helps the doctor to look inside your abdomen and assess the state of your uterus and ovaries and also that your tubes are open.
2 small incisions are made, one near the umbilicus (belly button) and one lower down.
Carbon Dioxide gas is pumped into the abdomen to enable a good view of the pelvic organs. A thin telescope (laparoscope) is inserted to view the uterus, fallopian tubes and surrounding organs. A blue dye is then introduced through the cervix to assess if the fallopian tubes are blocked or open. Dissolvable stitches are deployed to suture the incisions.
How does laparoscopy & dye help?
Several gynaecological conditions cause fertility including polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, adhesions or infection. A laparoscopy & dye test is performed to help in diagnosis and decide on a suitable treatment format.
Possible complications associated with laparoscopy & dye
There are always risks associated with general anaesthesia but specific risks of laparoscopy & dye may include perforation of any of the internal organs of the pelvis including the uterus, bowel, bladder or blood vessels. Please discuss with your doctor to understand these risks.
Preparing yourself for the surgery
Check with the doctor to fully understand the procedure. Since you would be under general anaesthesia do bring an overnight bag with toiletries towels just in case you need to stay back for a day. Ensure that you are accompanied by a friend/ relative to help you/ take you home on the day of your operation. You will be advised to have a bath or shower on the morning of your operation.
What will having a laparoscopy & dye involve?
Preparation for the surgery involves a general check up by the doctor with observations and investigations recorded. A blood test could be recommended along with blood pressure check up and heart recordings.
Before the operation
You will be advised to stop taking solid food 6 hours prior to her operation.
On the day
You will visit the health centre where you will be seen by your doctor and anaesthetist.
You will be prepared by the nurse who will advise you to wear a gown as you get to the operation theatre.
Once your surgery is done, you will return to the ward where your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored. You could experience some sort of bloating or period type of pain and have some ‘referred’ shoulder pain due to gas accumulated under the diaphragm. You could request the attendant for a pain killer injection for pain. Appropriate medication will be administered if you experience nausea. Once you are comfortable you could sip a drink, have a little solid food and then get ready to leave for your home once approved by doctor.
On getting home
You should rest completely once you get home. You will have light vaginal bleeding which may appear blue (along with your urine) for the next 24 hours due to the dye used. Bleeding may last for up to a week but do observe to ensure it is not heavy. You would also experience a bit of comfort for which the doctor would advise paracetamol tablets. Your pain should ease within 48 hours but do contact your doctor if you need further advise. A little blood may ooze from incision area for which a dry dressing or plaster could be applied. As you feel comfortable, you could take a bath or shower but do not apply soap or powder on the wounds. If you experience severe pain or have temperature do not ignore it. Contact the doctor and get yourself admitted for further investigations.
Does laparoscopy & dye cause constipation?
Not the procedure in itself but it is possible that the painkillers administered can cause slight constipation. Follow a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and consume sufficient quantities of fluids.
When can I resume normal activities?
Normal activities can be resumed usually a week after when you feel fitter and better. Do avoid lifting of weights and strenuous exercise until you feel better and ramp up your activities gradually.
When can I resume a normal sexual life?
You will be advised to refrain from sexual intercourse until your bleeding has completely stopped and the pain has subsided. It could be resumed once you feel better.
Could I begin exercising again?
You could start exercising after a week. However go slow and gradual before you get back to your previous pace and intensity. Please do not hurry on this.
Would there be a scar?
Since the incisions are very small scars will barely be visible once the area heals completely.
Would I need to continue with periodic cervical smear tests?
Yes. This surgery does not interfere with those tests and it is advisable to go for periodic cervical smears.
Will the surgery impact my mood?
If you experience fatigue or pain and are unable to resume normal activities it is possible that you could feel a bit low. Please check with your doctor for further advise.
Do I need to visit the hospital again after my laparoscopy & dye?
You will possibly need advice on how to manage your fertility problems. You may also require investigations or medication depending on these results.