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What is a Pelviscopy?

By J.M. Willhite
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A pelviscopy, also known as pelvic laparoscopy, is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that affect the pelvic organs. Depending on the reason for the procedure, it may be performed on either an in- or outpatient basis. As with any medical procedure, a pelviscopy does carry some risks for complication and these should be discussed with a qualified health care provider during consultation.

As a diagnostic tool, pelviscopy may be utilized to aid with detecting conditions such as ovarian cysts, appendicitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The procedure may also be used to evaluate cases of infertility and suspected abdominal pelvic masses. When used for treatment purposes, a pelviscopy may be utilized during procedures affecting the reproductive system, such as a tubal ligation, myomectomy, or hysterectomy. The use of a pelvic laparoscopy may not be used in cases where the individual is morbidly obese or exhibits extensive scar tissue from previous procedures.

Conducted under general anesthesia, a pelviscopy requires a small incision just below the individual’s navel. Carbon dioxide gas is introduced into the abdominal cavity through the incision to expand the cavity and allow the attending physician an unobstructed view of the area. A small tube outfitted with an equally small camera, known as a laparoscope, is inserted into the abdominal cavity through the incision. After an initial evaluation of the area is conducted, additional incisions may be necessary to allow for the insertion of instrumentation required to complete the procedure. Once the procedure is completed and the carbon dioxide gas is released, the instrumentation is removed and the incisions are closed with sutures.

Depending on the context in which the procedure was performed, an individual may be able to go home the same day or asked to remain in the hospital overnight for observation. As a convenient alternative to open surgery, a laparoscopic procedure usually involves a shorter recovery time, less post-operative discomfort, and minimal risk for post-operative complications. In most cases, when a pelviscopy is utilized for treatment purposes, its use may negate the possible need for additional procedures.

As with any medical procedure, a pelviscopy does carry some risks for complication, including infection, organ or tissue damage, and excessive bleeding. The use of carbon dioxide gas may induce abdominal discomfort following the procedure and additional pain in the upper torso as residual gas is expelled from the body. The use of a general anesthetic carries risks for allergic reaction to the medications administered and breathing difficulty. Additional post-operative complications that may necessitate immediate medical attention may include persistent fever and abdominal discomfort.

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Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Jun 13, 2012

@turkay1, @anamur-- I don't think it's a good idea to generalize someone's experience for all. A pelviscopy is definitely less invasive than open surgery. It doesn't cause as much pain and it doesn't take as long to recover. But still, the side effects and recovery time cannot be generalized. It depends on what is done during the pelviscopy and it also depends on the individual.

I had an endometriosis laparoscopy three years ago. It's definitely one of the more difficult laparoscopies. Unfortunately, my pain didn't resolve in a few days, it lasted months. And I still have to be careful with some movements, especially lifting or I have pain. If nothing else, scar tissue is bound to cause some discomfort after a pelvic laparoscopy.

@anamur-- By the way, the shoulder pain you had has to do with the carbon dioxide used during the procedure. It affects the nerves, but it doesn't last long.

By serenesurface — On Jun 12, 2012

@turkay1-- I had one last year, it wasn't bad at all. You won't feel anything during the procedure because you will be on general anesthesia. You might have some pain for a couple of days afterward though.

I was back to work in less then a week after my exploratory laparoscopy. I didn't have anything done, my doctor just wanted to make sure that there weren't any foreign masses in my pelvis. The only symptoms I had after was soreness and pain in my abdomen. That's where the tube was inserted. I also had some pain around my shoulders, although I have no idea why.

The pain and soreness was gone in about three or four days though. And I could go back to work as I said. Don't worry, you will be just fine.

By candyquilt — On Jun 11, 2012

I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst last week and possibly a problem with my left ovary. My doctor said that it might be in the wrong position but he can't know for sure until I have a pelviscopy.

I will be having a pelviscopy in two weeks. It's possible that the doctor will just go in, remove the cyst and stitch me up. But depending on how my left ovary is doing, he might have to do more.

I don't know much about this procedure and I'm very apprehensive. Has anyone had a pelviscopy that included removal or a cyst or another procedure? Can you tell me a little about how it was, and how quick the recovery was for you?

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