This page will give you information about a laparoscopy and dye test. If you have any questions, you should ask your relevant health professional.
What is a laparoscopy and dye test?
A laparoscopy and dye test is an operation using keyhole surgery to look at your abdominal and pelvic organs, particularly your fallopian tubes. It is used to help find out why you are having difficulty becoming pregnant. For some women minor treatments can be performed at the same time.
What are the benefits of surgery?
The laparoscopy will help to find out if you have one of the following conditions.
- pelvic infection
- tissues can join together around the tubes or ovaries in an abnormal way
- ovarian cysts
- fibroids, where the muscle of your womb becomes overgrown
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
An x-ray called a hysterosalpingogram can be performed to see if your tubes are blocked. Another option is a similar test called HyCoSy, which uses ultrasound.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 15 minutes.
Your gynaecologist will make a small cut, usually on or near your umbilicus (belly button), so they can insert an instrument in your abdominal cavity to inflate it with gas (carbon dioxide). They will usually make a further cut on your ‘bikini’ line so they can insert tubes (ports) into your abdomen. Your gynaecologist will insert instruments through the ports along with a telescope so they can see inside your abdomen and perform any minor procedures.
They will inject dye, which passes through your cervix, uterine cavity and down your fallopian tubes.
What complications can happen?
Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.
General complications of any operation
- feeling or being sick
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
- unsightly scarring of your skin
- blood clot in your leg
- blood clot in your lung
Specific complications of this operation
- damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
- developing a hernia near one of the cuts used to insert the ports
- surgical emphysema
- failure to find out what the problem is
- failed procedure
- infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder
How soon will I recover?
The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the laparoscopy and dye test and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
You should be able to go home the same day.
Rest for 1 to 2 days and take painkillers if you need them.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
A laparoscopy and dye test helps to find out the cause of certain gynaecological problems associated with infertility, particularly if your fallopian tubes are blocked. For some women minor treatments can be performed at the same time.
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
For more on how this information was prepared, click here.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: September 2019