After your anesthesia takes effect, your abdomen and vagina will be washed with a special disinfectant solution. Your feet will then be placed in stirrups. A catheter, or small tube, will be placed in your bladder to help empty it of urine. The catheter may be taken out before the procedure begins.
Your doctor will begin by placing a speculum into your vagina. A small instrument will then carefully be placed into the end of your cervix. This makes it possible for your doctor to gently move the uterus into different positions, so that your pelvic structures can be seen more clearly through the laparoscope.
Then a small incision, or cut, will be made in or just below your navel. A tube, called a trocar, will then be inserted into your abdomen. Through this, your doctor will fill your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas, which is like the air you breathe out. This gas helps your doctor see your pelvic structures more clearly. The laparoscope will then be inserted. Through this, your doctor will view the inside of your abdomen on a video screen. The laparoscope can also take pictures and videotape the procedure. Your doctor will be looking for anything that appears abnormal.
If an ectopic pregnancy is found, your doctor will remove it. Because it is often necessary to use several instruments at this time, two or three additional small incisions will be needed. These incisions are made in the lower abdomen and they are often smaller than the incision in your navel. The method that your doctor uses to remove the ectopic pregnancy will depend on: its location, if it has already ruptured, your desires for future childbearing, and your current health.
For example, if the ectopic pregnancy is in a fallopian tube, your doctor may either open the tube and remove the pregnancy or remove the whole tube. You would still be able to have children if this occurs, as long as your other ovary and tube are normal.
Once the procedure is complete, instruments are removed and the gas released. The incisions are then closed with stitches and covered with a bandage. These stitches will be absorbed by your body over time, usually about 2-4 weeks.