What is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy, also known as diagnostic laparoscopy, is a procedure used to look inside a person’s abdomen or pelvis. A laparoscope, an instrument that is about the diameter of a drinking straw, is inserted through a small incision. The inside of the abdomen is then examined using an image that appears on a color video monitor.

Preparation for Laparoscopy

Before having a laparoscopy, your doctor may want you to have some laboratory tests, such imaging studies. He or she may also ask you to restrict your food and drink the day before your surgery. You may be asked to stop taking aspirin or other medications that could affect how well your blood clots for a few days prior to surgery.

Types of Laparoscopy

There are several types of laparoscopy, including:

  • Diagnostic laparoscopy: A diagnostic laparoscopy is used to inspect organs in the abdomen and pelvis.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: A laparoscopic surgery is used to insert a small camera into the abdomen or pelvis in order to perform a variety of surgical procedures.
  • Endoscopic surgery: Endoscopic surgery uses endoscopes to reach and remove tissues or tumors that can’t be reached through traditional open surgery.

Why is Laparoscopy done?

Laparoscopy is used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including abdominal pain, infertility, endometriosis, adhesions, hernias, and some cancers. It can also be used to diagnose diseases affecting the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

When is Laparoscopy done?

Laparoscopy is typically performed if other tests, such as ultrasound, X-rays, or CT scans do not provide a clear diagnosis. Laparoscopy may also be recommended to remove a suspected tumor, to assess the spread of cancer, or to close off a hole in an organ.

Risks of Laparoscopy

The risks of laparoscopy are generally low but may include:

  • Hemorrhage or infection
  • Injury to organs or vessels
  • Adhesions (abnormal scar tissue)
  • Damage to nerves
  • Anesthetic reactions
  • Blood clots

If laparoscopy is done for a medical procedure, there may be additional risks specific to that particular operation.