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Test and Treatment: Laparoscopy

During laparoscopy, a rigid viewing instrument called a laparoscope is used to view the inside of the pelvis and the abdomen through small abdominal incisions. Laparoscopy may be used to look for disorders of the female reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, and to investigate other abdominal disorders, such as appendicitis. Some types of surgery, such as female sterilization, and surgery for endometriosis and ectopic pregnancy, may also be carried out laparoscopically. Laparoscopy is always performed under general anaesthesia. Recovery is faster than after normal surgery due to the smaller incisions.

The procedure

The laparoscope and a tool to manipulate the internal organs are inserted through incisions. Gas is pumped through the laparoscope so that the organs separate and can be seen clearly. In women, a second tool may be inserted through the vagina.

View

Endometriosis

This view through a laparoscope shows areas of endometriosis on the lining of the pelvic cavity next to the uterus. The tip of a manipulating probe and one of the ovaries can also be seen.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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