Laparoscopy can be used either to diagnose or to treat various conditions. Or it may be used to identify a problem and treat it in the same operation.
Diagnostic laparoscopy allows the doctor to look at structures inside the abdomen and see whether they appear normal or abnormal. It becomes valuable when physical examinations, lab tests, x-rays, and computerized scans don't show exactly what is wrong and a diagnosis requires a direct look inside the body.
It can be used to diagnose the cause of abdominal pain,pelvic pain, infertility, and other problems in abdominal organs.
During a diagnostic laparoscopy, the doctor also can use tiny scissors and other instruments to snip a sample of tissue and take a biopsy. The tissue can be examined with a microscope to see if it is normal.
Laparoscopy can be used to determine the stage of certain kinds of cancer. Stage means how far the cancer has advanced.
Hospital emergency departments may use laparoscopy to decide on the treatment of patients with trauma, or accidental injury. The procedure can "see" internal bleeding or other problems that might not be detected otherwise.
Operative laparoscopy allows the doctor to treat a disease or condition. It usually involves removing diseased tissue or repairing damage to a structure in the abdomen. Laparoscopy also is used in assisted reproductive procedures for women who are infertile or having difficulty becoming pregnant.
For further information about infertility, go to Infertility.
Nice To Know:
Laparoscopic surgery also is called:
Minimally invasive surgery, because the operation is done through the smallest possible incisions.
Belly button surgery, because the laparoscope used for abdominal surgery is often inserted through a small incision near the belly button (umbilicus or navel).
Band-Aid surgery, because the incisions for laparoscopy are so small that they can be covered with adhesive bandage strips.
Endoscopic surgery, because the instrument used for minimally invasive procedures on parts of the body other than the abdomen is called an endoscope.