to view an animated version of this procedure.
Laparoscopy is a type of surgery done through several small incisions in the abdomen. Small tools and a laparoscope (tiny camera) are placed through the incisions to allow the surgeon to see inside the belly and perform surgical tasks. This type of surgery is very popular, as it usually shortens recovery time. It also leaves only very small scars in most cases.
Laparoscopic Instruments Being Placed in the Abdomen
Most commonly, you will have
anesthesia—You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
After you are asleep and do not feel any pain, a needle will be inserted to inject a gas into your abdomen. The gas will make your abdomen expand. This will make it easier to see the organs. The laparoscope will then be inserted through a small hole that is cut in the skin. The laparoscope lights, magnifies, and projects an image onto a screen. The area will then be inspected.
If necessary, several other incisions will be made in the abdomen. Tiny tools will be inserted to take biopsies or do surgery. The incisions will be closed with stitches or clips.
How Long Will It Take?
This varies greatly depending on the procedure
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during the procedure. You may have soreness for a couple of days during recovery. Ask your doctor about pain medicine to help manage pain. You may also feel bloated or have pain in your shoulder from the gas. This can last up to three days.
Once home, follow your doctor's
, which may include:
Remove the dressing the morning after surgery.
Avoid heavy lifting.
Do not drink carbonated beverages for two days.
You should be able to go back to regular activities in about one week. If the procedure was done to help diagnose a condition, your doctor will suggest treatment options. Biopsy results may take up to a week to come back.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Headache, muscle aches, feeling faint or dizzy
Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
Patient information for diagnostic laparoscopy.
Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons website. Available at:
Published 2004. Accessed July 22, 2008.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a