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Difference Between HSG and LAP and Dye Test

HSG vs LAP and Dye Test

Laparoscopy is considered the standard procedure for assessing the health of the pelvis and for checking if the Fallopian tubes are obstructed or not. This process is a routine part of an infertility assessment.

Damage to the Fallopian tubes is a common cause of infertility. The doctor may check on the medical history of the patient and examine the findings which may suggest that there are problems with the Fallopian tubes. Problems with the tubes may result from previous pelvic infections, pelvic surgery resulting in post-operative adhesions, and pelvic tenderness during palpation. If no problem arises in the Fallopian tubes, it would be helpful to, at least, give the situation the benefit of the doubt. However, if all fertility screening tests on both you and your partner show no problem at all, there could still be a question on how healthy your pelvis will be in preparation for the child’s delivery. Hence, there will be a need for a patency test on the Fallopian tubes.

A laparoscopy and dye test is usually carried out with the help of general anesthesia, and the entire operation will usually last about 15 minutes. The procedure involves making a small incision in the abdomen. A surgical instrument, a tube, will be placed inside the abdomen, and the operation will be performed. The doctors will inject a dye that passes the cervix, uterine cavity, and the Fallopian tubes.

Laparoscopy is specifically indicated for finding problems in the Fallopian tubes, for instance, in the case of a history of peritonitis resulting from a burst appendix which may possibly scar and form adhesions after the previous pelvic surgery.

HSG (hysterosalpingography) scan is another alternative to assess fertility problems especially in the Fallopian tubes. There are about 15 percent of female patients that need to undergo this test even without a history of tubal problems. A tubal patency test is usually performed, but the standard procedure used is the laparoscopy and dye test. However, this test is minimally invasive and still needs hospital admission, the use of general anesthesia, and a small, surgical operation to complete the procedure.

An HSG scan uses an X-ray to check the uterus and the Fallopian tubes. This type of method is particularly suited for those patients who have not had a problem with their tubes. It is usually an outpatient procedure performed in the X-ray department. Sometimes this procedure follows a lap and dye test to confirm that the Fallopian tubes are open. When a laparoscopy is performed, everything may appear healthy, but the dye may not be seen gaining entrance to the tubes. This could be due to an obstruction or spasms in the tubes. An HSG scan is usually performed to clarify the results.

An HSG scan should not be performed if the patient is having her period or if she is possibly pregnant already. If there are symptoms, which include fever, abdominal cramps, and vaginal discharge, the HSG test should not be performed.
A speculum will be inserted vaginally to reveal your cervix, and another instrument will be introduced into the cervical canal. You will position yourself on the X-ray bed where the X-ray will be placed over your pelvis and the abdomen. Then a special contrast dye (a solution that will become visible on X-ray) will be gradually introduced into the cervix. This procedure, along with the images from the X-ray, will reveal what is going on inside. The entire procedure usually takes only 30 minutes, from preparing yourself for the exam, introducing the contrast, performing the X-ray, to redressing yourself for release.


  1. Both an HSG scan and lap and dye test are procedures to assess fertility problems.
  2. A lap and dye test is more invasive compared to an HSG scan because it involves small incisions into the abdomen.
  3. A lap and dye test requires the patient to be admitted to a hospital while an HSG is an outpatient procedure.
  4. Lap and dye tests involve using general anesthetics while an HSG does not.
  5. Lap and dye tests are usually performed in patients who have had a history of tubal problems, while an HSG scan may be performed in patients who have not had tubal problems.

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