Who performs pelvic laparoscopy?

The following specialists perform pelvic laparoscopy:

  • Obstetrician-gynecologists specialize in medical and surgical care of women’s health and pregnancy.
  • General surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. 
  • Colon and rectal surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of diseases of the small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus, as well as related conditions of the liver, urinary tract, and female reproductive system.
  • Urologists and pediatric urologists specialize in diseases and conditions of the urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Pediatric urologists further specialize in treating infants, children and adolescents.
  • Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons are urologists or gynecologists who have completed specialized training in women’s pelvic floor disorders.

How is pelvic laparoscopy performed?

Your pelvic laparoscopy will be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical setting. It involves inserting surgical instruments through small incisions in the abdomen. Other details of your surgery vary depending on your diagnosis, symptoms, and other factors. Your surgery may be either an outpatient procedure or a major surgery requiring a hospital stay.

Types of anesthesia that may be used

Laparoscopies are performed using general anesthesia. General anesthesia uses a combination of intravenous (IV) medications and gases that are used to put you in a deep sleep. You are unaware of the procedure and will not feel any pain.

What to expect the day of your pelvic laparoscopy

The day of your surgery, you can generally expect to:

  • Talk with a preoperative nurse who will perform an exam and ensure that all needed tests are in order. The nurse can also answer questions and make sure that you sign the surgical consent.
  • Remove all clothing and jewelry and dress in a hospital gown. It is a good idea to leave all jewelry and valuables at home or with a family member. Your care team will give you blankets for modesty and warmth.
  • Talk with the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist about your medical history and the type of anesthesia you will have. 
  • A surgical team member will start an IV.
  • The anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will start your anesthesia.
  • A tube will be placed in your windpipe to protect and control breathing during general anesthesia. You will not feel or remember this or the surgery as they happen. 
  • A urinary catheter may be inserted after you have had anesthesia.
  • The surgical team will monitor your vital signs and other critical body functions. This occurs throughout the procedure and during your recovery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and all vital signs are stable.

What are the risks and potential complications of pelvic laparoscopy?  

As with all surgeries, a pelvic laparoscopy involves risks and possible complications. Complications may become serious and life threatening in some cases. Complications can develop during surgery or recovery.

General risks of surgery

Risks and potential complications of surgery include:

  • Anesthesia reaction, such as an allergic reaction and problems with breathing 
  • Bleeding, which can lead to shock
  • Blood clot, in particular a deep vein thrombosis that develops in the leg or pelvis. A blood clot can travel to your lungs, heart or brain and cause a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Infection and septicemia, which is the spread of a local infection to the blood

Potential complications of pelvic laparoscopy

Complications of pelvic laparoscopy include: 

  • Blood vessel damage
  • Development of a hernia (bulge) at the incision site
  • Injury to the intestines or surrounding organs
  • Nerve damage

Reducing your risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of certain complications by following your treatment plan and: 

  • Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations before your procedure and during recovery
  • Notifying your doctor immediately of any concerns, such as bleeding, fever, or increase in pain
  • Taking your medications exactly as directed
  • Telling all members of your care team if you have any allergies