laparoscopy overview

Laparoscopy refers to the technique of visualising the inside of the abdomen using a small telescope which is usually inserted just under the umbilicus (belly button). These day, a miniature camera is attached to the eyepiece of the laparoscope to transmit the endoscopic image on to a high resolution colour monitor. Further small incisions (1/2 to 1 cm) allow various instruments (e.g. grasping forceps, scissors) to be introduced into the abdominal cavity (see figure).

As with hysteroscopy, laparoscopy can be used for diagnosis or surgery, and as with hysteroscopy, diagnostic and operative laparoscopy are integral to modern gynaecological investigation and therapy. Operative laparoscopy has become an established alternative to laparotomy (open surgery) for the treatment of a large number of conditions; as with all "key hole" techniques, laparoscopic surgery is associated with less discomfort after surgery and a faster recovery.