Merck Manual

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Laparoscopy

By

Jonathan Gotfried

, MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Medically Reviewed Apr 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
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Laparoscopy is an examination of the abdominal cavity using a fiberoptic instrument inserted through the abdominal wall. This is a surgical procedure done in an operating room.

After the appropriate area of the skin is washed with an antiseptic, a small incision is made, usually in the navel. Then a laparoscope is passed into the abdominal cavity, which is then inflated with gas to make it easier to see. A doctor can look for tumors or other abnormalities, examine nearly any organ in the abdominal cavity, take tissue samples, and even do surgery.

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