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Illustration of Laparoscopy
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:
- a telescopic rod lens system, usually connected to a video camera (single chip or three chip)
- 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 rigidity is required in clinical practice. The rod-lens based laparoscopes dominant overwhelmingly 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 that of the digital camera if necessary. The second type of laparoscope is very rare in the laparoscope market and in hospitals.
The laparoscope allows doctors to perform both minor and complex surgeries with a few small cuts in the abdomen.
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.
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.
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.
- MedlinePlus > Laparoscopy Update Date: 8/21/2009. Updated by: James Lee, MD // No longer valid