Diagnostic laparoscopy and dye test

What is a laparoscopy and dye test?

A laparoscopy and dye test is an operation to help find out why you are having difficulty becoming pregnant. The dye test will show if your fallopian tubes are blocked. The laparoscopy will help find out if you have endometriosis, pelvic infection, adhesions, ovarian cysts or fibroids. Some minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

Diagnostic laparoscopy and dye test 

What are the benefits of surgery?

A laparoscopy and dye test may help your doctor find out the cause of your infertility.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

An x-ray called a hysterosalpingogram or an ultrasound test called HyCoSy can show if your tubes are blocked.

What does the operation involve?

A laparoscopy and dye test is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about fifteen minutes.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen. They will place surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation (see figure 1).

They will inject a dye, which passes through the cervix, uterine cavity and down the fallopian tubes.

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation:

  • Pain
  • Sickness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots

Specific complications of this operation:

  • Damage to internal organs
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts
  • Surgical emphysema
  • Failure to find out what the problem is
  • Failed procedure
  • Infection of the gynaecological organs or bladder

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

A member of the healthcare team will tell you the results of the laparoscopy and dye test and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

You should rest for the first one to two days.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.


A laparoscopy and dye test helps to find out the cause of infertility, particularly if the fallopian tubes are blocked. Some minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

Paying for your operation

Diagnostic laparoscopy and dye test costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Acknowledgements Author: Mr Jeremy Hawe MBChB MRCOG Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you. Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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