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Laparoscopy is a type of surgery done through small cuts in the belly. Small tools and a scope with a tiny camera are placed through the cuts. This allows the doctor to see inside. Laparoscopy is popular because it usually shortens recovery time. It also leaves smaller scars in most cases.
Laparoscopic Instruments Being Placed in the Abdomen
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Laparoscopy can be used to:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review possible problems such as:
Your chances of problems may be higher for:
You may have:
In the days leading up to your procedure:
In most cases, you will have general anesthesia to keep you asleep.
First, gas is placed into the belly to make it expand. This makes it easier to see the structures inside. The laparoscope is placed through small holes cut in the skin. Scopes can light, magnify, and project images onto a screen.
Sometimes, other cuts are made in the belly. Tiny tools are used to take biopsies or fix problems. The cuts are closed with stitches or clips.
The time depends on what is needed.
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicines will help ease pain after it.
To help you heal faster:
You may return to normal activity in about a week. Your doctor will talk to you about a care plan if a diagnosis is made. Biopsy results may take up to a week to come back.
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American College of Surgeons
Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
Women's College Hospital—Women's Health Matters
Diagnostic laparoscopy patient information from SAGES. Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-diagnostic-laparoscopy-from-sages. March 1, 2015. Accessed July 2, 2018.
Laparoscopy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq061.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130723T1313462445. Updated July 2015. Accessed July 2, 2018.
6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905141/Treatment-for-tobacco-use : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Donald W. Buck II, MD
Last Updated: 7/2/2018