Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Diagnostic laparoscopy

Laparoscopy - diagnostic; Exploratory laparoscopy

 

Diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look directly at the contents of the abdomen or pelvis.

How the Test is Performed

 

The procedure is usually done in the hospital or outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia (while you are asleep and pain-free). The procedure is performed in the following way:

  • The surgeon makes a small cut (incision) below the belly button.
  • A needle or tube is inserted into the incision. Carbon dioxide gas is passed into the abdomen through the needle or tube. The gas helps expand the area, giving the surgeon more room to work, and helps the surgeon see the organs more clearly.
  • A tube is placed through the cut in your abdomen. A tiny video camera (laparoscope) goes through this tube and is used to see the inside of your pelvis and abdomen. More small cuts may be made if other instruments are needed to get a better view of certain organs.
  • If you are having gynecologic laparoscopy, dye may be injected into your cervix area so the surgeon can view the fallopian tubes.
  • After the exam, the gas, laparoscope, and instruments are removed, and the cuts are closed. You will have bandages over those areas.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

Follow instructions on not eating and drinking before surgery.

You may need to stop taking medicines, including narcotic pain relievers, on or before the day of the exam. Do not change or stop taking any medicines without first talking to your health care provider.

Follow any other instructions for how to prepare for the procedure.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

You will feel no pain during the procedure. Afterward, the incisions may be sore. Your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever.

You may also have shoulder pain for a few days. The gas used during the procedure can irritate the diaphragm, which shares some of the same nerves as the shoulder. You may also have an increased urge to urinate, since the gas can put pressure on the bladder.

You will recover for a few hours at the hospital before going home. You will probably not stay overnight after a laparoscopy.

You will not be allowed to drive home. Someone should be available to pick you up after the procedure.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

Diagnostic laparoscopy is often done for the following:

  • Find the cause of pain or a growth in the abdomen and pelvic area when x-ray or ultrasound results aren't clear.
  • After an accident to see if there is injury to the abdomen.
  • Before procedures to treat cancer to find out if the cancer has spread. If so, treatment will change.

 

Normal Results

 

The laparoscopy is normal if there is no blood in the abdomen, no hernias, no intestinal obstruction, and no cancer in any visible organs. The uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are of normal size, shape, and color. The liver is normal.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

Abnormal results may be due to a number of different conditions, including:

  • Scar tissue inside the abdomen or pelvis (adhesions)
  • Appendicitis
  • Cells from inside the uterus grow in other areas (endometriosis)
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
  • Ovarian cysts or cancer of the ovary
  • Infection of the the womb, ovaries, or fallopian tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Signs of injury
  • Spread of cancer
  • Tumors
  • Noncancerous tumors of the womb (uterine fibroids)

 

Risks

 

There is a risk for infection. You may get antibiotics to prevent this complication.

There is a risk of puncturing an organ. This could cause the contents of the intestines to leak. There may also be bleeding into the abdominal cavity. These complications could lead to immediate open surgery (laparotomy).

Diagnostic laparoscopy may not be possible if you have a swollen bowel, fluid in the abdomen (ascites), or you have had a past surgery.

 

 

References

Falcone T, Walters MD. Diagnostic laparoscopy. In: Baggish MS, Karram MM, eds. Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 115.

Wexner SD, McLemore EC. Staging laparoscopy for gastrointestinal cancer. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:1403-1405.

 
  • Pelvic laparoscopy

    Pelvic laparoscopy - illustration

    Laparoscopy is performed when less-invasive surgery is desired. It is also called Band-Aid surgery because only small incisions need to be made to accommodate the small surgical instruments that are used to view the abdominal contents and perform the surgery.

    Pelvic laparoscopy

    illustration

  • Female reproductive anatomy

    Female reproductive anatomy - illustration

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Female reproductive anatomy

    illustration

  • Incision for abdominal laparoscopy

    Incision for abdominal laparoscopy - illustration

    Abdominal laparoscopy is a useful aid in diagnosing disease or trauma in the abdominal cavity with less scarring than with a large abdominal incision. Large operations such as liver and pancreatic resections may begin with laparoscopy to exclude the presence of additional tumors (metastatic disease) that would preclude curative resection. The procedure is usually done in the hospital under general anesthesia, but it may be done under local anesthesia.

    Incision for abdominal laparoscopy

    illustration

    • Pelvic laparoscopy

      Pelvic laparoscopy - illustration

      Laparoscopy is performed when less-invasive surgery is desired. It is also called Band-Aid surgery because only small incisions need to be made to accommodate the small surgical instruments that are used to view the abdominal contents and perform the surgery.

      Pelvic laparoscopy

      illustration

    • Female reproductive anatomy

      Female reproductive anatomy - illustration

      External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

      Female reproductive anatomy

      illustration

    • Incision for abdominal laparoscopy

      Incision for abdominal laparoscopy - illustration

      Abdominal laparoscopy is a useful aid in diagnosing disease or trauma in the abdominal cavity with less scarring than with a large abdominal incision. Large operations such as liver and pancreatic resections may begin with laparoscopy to exclude the presence of additional tumors (metastatic disease) that would preclude curative resection. The procedure is usually done in the hospital under general anesthesia, but it may be done under local anesthesia.

      Incision for abdominal laparoscopy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Diagnostic laparoscopy

         

         

        Review Date: 5/24/2016

        Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

         
         
         

         

         

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



        Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.