Laparoscopy is an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis using small incisions (usually 0.5 - 1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. The laparoscope aids diagnosis or therapeutic interventions with a few small cuts in the abdomen.
Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique. There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus the more common, open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions, reduced hemorrhaging and shorter recovery time. The key element is the use of a laparoscope, a long fiber optic cable system that allows viewing of the affected area by snaking the cable from a more distant, but more easily accessible location.
In gynecology, diagnostic laparoscopy may be used to inspect the outside of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes as, for example, in the diagnosis of female infertility. Usually, one incision is placed near the navel and a second near the pubic hairline. A dye test may be performed to detect any blockage in the reproductive tract, wherein a dark blue dye is passed up through the cervix and is followed with the laparoscope through its passage out into the fallopian tubes to the ovaries.