Laparoscopy (lap-a-ros-copee) is an examination of the interior of the abdomen by means of an instrument called a laparoscope (lap-a- ros-cope). A laparoscope is a small telescope-like instrument with a light on one end which is passed through a small incision below the navel. This allows the physician to view and examine the organs in the abdominal cavity.
Laparoscopy is best used for examining the ovaries, Fallopian (fal-lope-ian) tubes, and uterus. It can also be used as an alternative for exploratory surgery in the abdominal cavity. Minor surgery can be performed through the laparoscope by using special instruments, such as a laser, and by an additional small incision in the lower part of the abdomen. Laparoscopy can also be used for examining the liver, gallbladder, and appendix, but the views are not as complete as the views of the reproductive organs.
Visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website for more information.