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Laparoscopy ˌlap-ə-ˈräs-kə-pē

By Walter W. Chan, MD, MPH

Laparoscopy is an examination of the abdominal cavity using an endoscope (see page Endoscopy), usually with the person under general anesthesia (see page General anesthesia). After the appropriate area of the skin is washed with an antiseptic, a small incision is made, usually in the navel. Then an endoscope is passed into the abdominal cavity. A doctor can look for tumors or other abnormalities, examine nearly any organ in the abdominal cavity, take tissue samples, and even do surgery. Complications include bleeding, infection, and perforation.

* This is the Consumer Version. *