What is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a type of surgery which utilizes small cameras and mechanical devices at the end of small ports which can be inserted through tiny incisions into body cavities such as the abdomen or chest. It is a much less invasive operation than open surgery and is often preferred by doctors and patients alike. It usually is more cost efficient and causes less inconvenience for patients in terms of stress and recovery time.

During a laparoscopic surgery, a small tubular device with a camera and a light on the end of it, called a laparoscope, is inserted into a patient’s abdomen via a small incision made in the abdomen. Sometimes several small cuts must be made to give more tools access to inside. Using laparoscopes, the surgeon is able to see a video of the patient’s inner organs on a video monitor and evaluate the course of treatment less invasively. If parts of organs—or whole organs—need to be removed, laparoscopes also can be used to perform surgery through the small incision. Usually, the operation takes 30 minutes to 90 minutes—longer if endometriosis is found in female patients. Patients are put under general anesthesia throughout the entire procedure. Laparoscopy is performed for a variety of different reasons:


Reviewed 12/29/2011 by David M. Nolan, M.D.
Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, 2011
Currently a Fellow of Gastroenterology, at UCI 2011-2014