What is gynaecological laparoscopy?

Gynaecology is the field of medicine that deals with women’s health, especially as it regards women’s reproductive organs; while laparoscopy is a special technique of performing surgery in the abdomen through one (or more) tiny “keyhole” opening(s) in the abdomen. Laparoscopy has become a vital part of modern gynaecological practice, with its uses ranging from the identification of some disease conditions, to the actual surgical treatment of various gynaecological problems. It involves the introduction of a special telescope called the laparoscope through a tiny opening around the umbilicus (the navel) to view the insides of the abdomen.

What are its advantages?

Compared to the conventional (open) technique of abdominal surgery, laparoscopy offers numerous advantages including less bleeding at surgery, less pain after surgery, shorter stay in hospital and faster recovery. Other benefits include less wound infection and a cosmetically better scar (usually the scar is almost invisible).

Who should have gynaecological laparoscopy?

Women with recurrent or persistent pelvic pain of more than six months duration would benefit from gynaecological laparoscopic evaluation. Perhaps the commonest reason for gynaecological laparoscopy however, is the evaluation of women with infertility (delay in getting pregnant). Such women undergo what is called a laparoscopy and dye test, to check for the presence of identifiable causes such as blockage of the fallopian tubes or problems with the ovaries. Where these conditions are present, treatment by laparoscopic surgery may also be attempted during the same session.

Several gynaecological problems can also be treated using laparoscopy. Examples include ovarian cyst, ectopic pregnancy (i.e. pregnancy located outside the womb), uterine fibroids and endometriosis. In addition, laparoscopy can be used to perform permanent family planning surgery (tying of the fallopian tubes), as well as the removal of the womb. Indeed, the list of gynaecological surgeries that can be performed with the aid of laparoscopy is endless.


The Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals complex, Ile-Ife is a government owned tertiary hospital that has been in the forefront of establishing continuous delivery of affordable and sustainable surgical and gynaecological laparoscopy services to the teeming population of Nigerian women who before now have had to spend a fortune either travelling abroad or patronizing very expensive private hospitals locally. The hospital is currently endowed with modern laparoscopy equipments and skilled personnel in both surgical and gynaecological laparoscopy.

Presently, both diagnostic and operative gynaecological laparoscopy procedures are routine in OAUTHC. Our laparoscopy costs less than 10% of what it costs in private hospitals. This has been made possible by the hospital management’s magnanimous decision to waive all the extra costs in order to make laparoscopy more affordable.

How to access our gynaecological laparoscopy services?

Our Gynaecology Consultant out-patient clinics are open from 8:00am on Mondays and Thursdays every week at Phase I, Ife Hospital Unit, OAUTHC, Ile-Ife; and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa