A keyhole surgical operation is sometimes required to investigate female infertility. Under general anaesthetic a telescope is passed through the belly button inside the abdomen. The surgeon can clearly examine the womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes while the patient is asleep. At the same times as this operation takes place tubal patency can be confirmed by passing dye from the womb back through the tubes. The dye is seen to flow out of the tubes into the pelvis if the tubes are open and working.
A diagnostic laparoscopy is the gold standard technique to check tubal patency, if the HyCoSy or HSG have been inconclusive. Importantly it also means the surgeon can check the ovaries, womb and diagnose conditions such as endometriosis. In some cases if a patient has a blocked tube a surgeon may be able to perform tubal surgery and open the fallopian tube.
The diagnostic laparoscopy for fertility is usually performed as a day case operation and the patient will go home on the same day. A woman that undergoes a laparoscopy will generally require two weeks to recover and return to work.