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A laparoscopy is keyhole surgery.

This is a very common procedure. Around 10% of all women will need a laparoscopy to assess and correct all sorts of problems, including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, infertility, the treatment of scar tissues or a prolapsed uterus.

By dealing with these issues through keyhole surgery, you tend to recover faster, and have less pain than other techniques. It also allows a more detailed investigation of your pelvic area, allowing Guy to see if there are any structural issues.

The Procedure Is Conducted Under General Anaesthetic

As such, you’ll probably need to recover at home for a few days afterwards.

It involves a small incision, about a centimetre long, in your abdomen. The cut will be tender for a few days and will involve a small suture or stitch. This is removed a week after the operation.

After The Procedure

With many laparoscopies, a small amount of carbon dioxide is pumped into the area to provide clearer views of your pelvic organs. As such, you may also experience some uncomfortable or bloated feelings after the procedure. These can often be treated with simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Before the procedure, Guy will talk you through exactly what will happen, what he is looking for and what he is expecting to discover.

Guy will also take you through the best way to prepare for the laparoscopy and whether you need to stop taking any other medications (in most cases the procedure will not affect any other medications you are on).


A laparoscopy is often called keyhole surgery. It allows your doctor to conduct surgery in your abdomen or pelvic area without having to use large cuts.

As a result, it usually has a shorter stay in hospital. And faster recovery time. Less pain. And smaller scars – which are often able to be hidden below a bikini line.

Like a hysteroscope, it uses a flexible tube which contains a camera and light, and allows the surgeon to conduct the surgery through vision on a tv monitor.

A laparoscopy can be used to diagnose a condition, to collect samples from inside the tummy or the uterus, or for surgery. 

Your gynaecologist will discuss the reasons for a laparoscopy and help you understand your options.

Laparoscopy is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.

During laparoscopy, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions in the abdomen. These allow the surgeon to insert the laparoscope, small surgical tools, and a tube used to pump gas into the abdomen. This makes it easier for the surgeon to look around and operate.

After the procedure, the gas is let out of your abdomen, the incisions are closed using stitches and a dressing is applied.

You can often go home on the same day of your laparoscopy, although you may need to stay in hospital overnight.

Laparoscopy is a commonly performed procedure and serious complications are rare.

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on an ovary. They’re very common and do not usually cause any symptoms.

Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and go away in a few months without needing any treatment.

Ovarian cysts are, mostly, unnoticed and undiagnosed – and cause no distress or discomfort at all.

You will usually only notice any symptoms if the cyst is overly large, if it affects the ovaries by blocking blood supply, or if it splits. Symptoms include: 

  • Pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis – either a dull constant pain or a sharp sudden pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Unusual periods
  • Excessive urination
  • Painful sex

Please note, ovarian cysts can be difficult to diagnose and the presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean the presence of a cyst.

There are a number of options for treatment of ovarian cysts. Each one depends on its size, its appearance, your symptoms, and if you have been through menopause.

In most cases the best treatment is none at all as the cysts will usually disappear within a couple of months. 

If you have been through menopause, or you have a large cyst, or there is a concern they might be cancerous, Guy will often recommend surgery. 

In all cases, regular ultrasounds will be recommended to track the cysts and help your gynaecologist make an appropriate diagnosis.