Laparoscopic Surgery

Topic Overview

Laparoscopy (say "lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee") is surgery that is done through small cuts (incisions) in your belly.

To do this type of surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small incisions in your belly. The doctor can take out organs such as the spleen, the gallbladder, the appendix, an ovary, a fallopian tube, or part of the intestine during laparoscopy. He or she can repair a hernia or take out small tumors, cysts, or other growths. The doctor also can use laparoscopy to close a woman's fallopian tubes (tubal ligation).

In laparoscopy, recovery is usually less painful and faster than in surgery done through one large cut (called open surgery). You may also spend less time in the hospital and away from work and other activities.

Laparoscopy may cost less than open surgery. But sometimes laparoscopy takes longer, or your doctor needs to switch from doing a laparoscopy to doing an open surgery.

Typically laparoscopy leaves several scars about half an inch long. These scars fade with time.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised March 6, 2012

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