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Laparoscopy

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:47 pm
A laparoscopy (lap-uh-ROSS-coe-pee) is a surgical procedure in which a small instrument is inserted through an incision in the navel. This instrument, called a laparoscope (LAP-uh-roe-scope), functions like a miniature telescope, with a light on the end, giving doctors an internal view of the abdominal cavity. Sometimes, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas, so internal organs can be re-positioned as needed. A laparoscopy may be done to investigate a problem like pelvic pain, or infertility when a tubal blockage is suspected. It's also used to remove an ectopic embryo, which is one that's developed in a fallopian tube by mistake, instead of in the uterus. One of the most common uses of laparoscopy is in tubal sterilization procedures. Here, both the laparoscope and the laser or other cutting instrument are passed through the navel, thus eliminating any abdominal scar. Examination of the liver, gallbladder, and appendix may also be done by laparoscopy. Regardless of its purpose, the operation is typically done under general anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. To find out more about laparoscopy, speak with a physician.
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