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Blausen 0602 Laparoscopy 02.png
Illustration of Laparoscopy
ICD-9-CM 54.21
MeSH D010535
OPS-301 code 1-694

Laparoscopy (from Ancient Greek λαπάρα (lapara), meaning "flank, side", and σκοπέω (skopeo), meaning "to see") is an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. It can either be used to inspect and diagnose a condition or to perform surgery.


There are two types of laparoscope: (1) a telescopic rod lens system, that is usually connected to a video camera (single chip or three chip), or (2) a digital laparoscope where a miniature digital video camera is placed at the end of the laparoscope, eliminating the rod lens system. The mechanism mentioned in the second type is mainly used to improve the image quality of flexible endoscopes replacing traditional fiberscopes. Nevertheless, laparoscopes are rigid endoscopes. The rigidness is required in clinical practice. The rod lens based laparoscopes are highly dominant in practice, due to their fine optical resolution (50 µm typically, dependant on the aperture size used in the objective lens), and the image quality can be better than the digital cameras if necessary. The second type is very rare in the laparoscope market and hospitals.


Main article: Laparoscopic surgery

The laparoscope allows doctors to perform both minor and complex surgeries with a few small cuts in the abdomen.[1]

There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions and hemorrhaging, and shorter recovery time.

Gynecological diagnosis[edit]

Further information: Fertiloscope

In gynecology, diagnostic laparoscopy may be used to inspect the outside of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, for example in the diagnosis of female infertility. Usually, there is one incision near the navel and a second near to the pubic hairline.[1]

For gynecological diagnosis, a special type of laparoscope can be used, called a fertiloscope. A fertiloscope is modified to make it suitable for trans-vaginal application.

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.[1]

Pediatric laparoscopy[edit]

Although laparoscopy in adult age group is widely accepted, its use in the pediatric age group is questionable. The efficacy of laparoscopy is inferior to open surgery in situations such as pyloromyotomy for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Although laparoscopic appendectomy results in fewer wounds than open surgery, the former is also associated with more intra-abdominal abscesses.

Tactile sensing[edit]

Laparoscopic Tactile Imaging probe (design concept).

During a laparoscopic surgery the video camera becomes a surgeon’s eyes, since the surgeon uses the image from the video camera positioned inside the patient’s body to perform the procedure. Visual feedback is either similar or often superior to open procedures. The greatest limitation to these minimally invasive approaches is the impairment (in the case of traditional laparoscopy) or complete lack of tactile sensation (in the case of robotic laparoscopy) normally used to assist in surgical dissection and decision making. Despite of multiple attempts, no tactile imaging device or probe is currently commercially available for laparoscopic surgery.[2][3][4][5] Figure on the right presents one of the advanced solutions, which is in the development phase.[6]


  1. ^ a b c MedlinePlus > Laparoscopy Update Date: 8/21/2009. Updated by: James Lee, MD
  2. ^ Talasaz A, Patel RV. Integration of force reflection with tactile sensing for minimally invasive robotics-assisted tumor localization. IEEE Trans Haptics. 2013; 6(2): 217-28.
  3. ^ Hollenstein M1, Bugnard G, Joos R, Kropf S, Villiger P, Mazza E. Towards laparoscopic tissue aspiration. Med Image Anal. 2013; 17(8): 1037-45.
  4. ^ Beccani M, Di Natali C, Sliker LJ, Schoen JA, Rentschler ME, Valdastri P. Wireless tissue palpation for intraoperative detection of lumps in the soft tissue. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014; 61(2): 353-61.
  5. ^ Pacchierotti C, Prattichizzo D, Kuchenbecker K. Cutaneous Feedback of Fingertip Deformation and Vibration for Palpation in Robotic Surgery. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2015 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. ^ Egorov V, Sarvazyan AP. Method and probe for providing tactile feedback in laparoscopic surgery. USA Provisional Patent Application, No. 62199899; July 31, 2015.