Diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to look directly at the contents of a patient's abdomen or pelvis, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, small bowel, large bowel, appendix, liver, and gallbladder.
Laparoscopy - diagnostic
How the test is performed
The procedure is usually done in the hospital or outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia (while the patient is unconscious and pain-free). However, very rarely, this procedure may also be done using local anesthesia, which numbs only the area affected by the surgery and allows you to stay awake.
A surgeon makes a small cut below the belly button (navel) and inserts a needle into the area. Carbon dioxide gas is passed into the area to help move the abdominal wall and any organs out of the way, creating a larger space to work in. This helps the surgeon see the area better.
A tube is placed through the cut in your abdominal area. A tiny video camera (laparoscope) goes through this tube and is used to see the inside of your pelvis and abdomen. Additional small cuts may be made if other instruments are needed to get a better view of certain organs.
In the case of gynecologic laparoscopy, dye may be injected into your cervix area so the surgeon can better see your fallopian tubes.
After the exam, the laparoscope and instruments are removed, and the cuts are closed. You will have bandages over those areas.
How to prepare for the test
Review Date: 09/02/2010
Reviewed By: Daniel N. Sacks MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology in Private Practice, West Palm Beach, FL. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.