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Laparoscopic Surgery - Topic Overview

Laparoscopy (say "lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee") is surgery that is done through small cuts (incisions) in your belly.

To do this type of surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small incisions in your belly. The doctor can take out organs such as the spleen, the gallbladder, the appendix, an ovary, a fallopian tube, or part of the intestine during laparoscopy. He or she can repair a hernia or take out small tumors, cysts, or other growths. The doctor also can use laparoscopy to close a woman's fallopian tubes (tubal ligation).

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In laparoscopy, recovery is usually less painful and faster than in surgery done through one large cut (called open surgery). You may also spend less time in the hospital and away from work and other activities.

Laparoscopy may cost less than open surgery. But sometimes laparoscopy takes longer, or your doctor needs to switch from doing a laparoscopy to doing an open surgery.

Typically laparoscopy leaves several scars about half an inch long. These scars fade with time.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 06, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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