Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly to look at the abdominal organs or the female pelvic organs . Laparoscopy is used to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids , and infection. Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy through the tube (laparoscope).
In many cases laparoscopy can be done instead of laparotomy surgery that uses a larger incision in the belly. Laparoscopy can be less stressful and may have less problems and lower costs than laparotomy for minor surgeries. It can often be done without needing to stay overnight in the hospital.
Why It Is Done
Laparoscopy is done to:
- Check for and possibly take out abnormal growths (such as tumors) in the belly or pelvis.
- Check for and treat conditions such as endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Find conditions that can make it hard for a woman to become pregnant. These conditions include cysts, adhesions, fibroids, and infection. Laparoscopy may be done after initial infertility tests do not show the cause for the infertility.
- Do a biopsy.
- See whether cancer in another area of the body has spread to the belly.
- Check for damage to internal organs, such as the spleen, after an injury or accident.
- Do a tubal ligation.
- Fix a hiatal hernia or an inguinal hernia .
- Take out organs, such as the uterus, spleen , gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), ovaries, or appendix (appendectomy). Partial removal (resection) of the colon also can be done.
- Find the cause of sudden or ongoing pelvic pain.
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
- Have allergies to any medicines, including anesthesia.
- Have any bleeding problems or are taking any blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).
- Are or might be pregnant.
- Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, please do so using only a sip of water.
- Leave your jewelry at home. Any jewelry you wear will need to be taken off before the laparoscopy.
- Remove your glasses, contacts, and dentures or a removable bridge before the laparoscopy. These will be given back to you as soon as you wake up after the surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the laparoscopy.