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
fibroids , and infection. Tissue samples can be taken
biopsy through the tube (laparoscope).
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
ectopic pregnancy, or
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
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
- 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
- Do a
- Fix a
hiatal hernia or an
inguinal hernia. See a picture of an
inguinal hernia .
- Take out organs, such as the
gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy),
appendix (appendectomy). Partial removal (resection)
of the colon also can be done.
- Find the cause of sudden or ongoing
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
- Have allergies to any medicines, including
- Have any bleeding problems or are taking any
blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin or warfarin
- 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
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the
You may be asked to use an
enema several hours before or the day before the
surgery to empty your colon.
The hospital or surgery center may
send you instructions on how to get ready for your laparoscopy or a nurse may
call you with instructions before your surgery.
You will be asked to sign a consent
form before having laparoscopy. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have
about the need for the surgery, its risks, how it will be done, or what the
results will mean. To help you
understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).