What is laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a type of diagnostic surgical procedure that your healthcare provider can use to look inside your body at your abdominal and reproductive organs. This procedure can also be used to collect samples of tissue (biopsies) for testing. A laparoscope — a thin tube similar to a telescope — is passed through a small incision (cut) in your abdomen. Using the laparoscope, your provider can look directly at the outside of your:

  • Uterus.
  • Ovaries.
  • Fallopian tubes.
  • Liver.
  • Pancreas.
  • Gallbladder.
  • Spleen.
  • Stomach.

Your provider might recommend a laparoscopy if other diagnostic tests — ultrasound and X-ray — cannot confirm the cause of a condition. Your provider might use laparoscopy to:

  • Find the cause of pain in the pelvic and abdominal regions.
  • Examine a tissue mass.
  • Confirm endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Look for blockage of the fallopian tubes or for other causes of infertility.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/25/2020.


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