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What is pelvic laparoscopy?

Pelvic Laparoscopy

Pelvic laparoscopy is a type of surgery that allows your doctor to see and treat organs and tissues inside your pelvis with a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long, thin camera that is inserted through a small abdominal incision, typically ½ to 1 cm long. The camera transmits pictures of the inside of your body to a video screen viewed by your doctor as he or she performs your surgery. 

Many different diseases and conditions can be treated during pelvic laparoscopy. These include uterine conditions, ovarian cysts, and appendicitis. Surgeons also perform laparoscopic tubal ligation for permanent birth control.

Pelvic laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery. This involves making small incisions instead of the larger one needed for open surgery. Surgical tools are threaded through the smaller incisions and around tissues instead of cutting through them. This generally results in quicker recovery and less pain than open surgery. 

A pelvic laparoscopy is a common but major surgery with serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a pelvic laparoscopy.

Other surgical procedures that may be performed

Your doctor may perform other procedures in addition to a pelvic laparoscopy. An open surgical procedure may be needed if a problem is found during laparoscopy that must be treated using open surgery. Open surgery involves making a longer incision that allows your doctor to directly view and access the surgical area.

There are many surgeries that may be performed during pelvic laparoscopy. Common procedures include:

  • Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus.
  • Laparoscopic robotic surgery is laparoscopic surgery that is assisted by a computerized surgical robot.
  • Removal of abnormal tissue can include removal of a pelvic mass, scar tissue, uterine fibroids, diseased ovaries or fallopian tubes, and endometrial tissue, which is uterine tissue that grows outside the uterus.
  • Tissue biopsy is the removal of samples of tissue to be examined for disease or malignancy.
  • Tubal ligation is a form of birth control in which the fallopian tubes are closed. This is considered permanent.
Medical Reviewers: Daphne E. Hemmings, MD, MPH Last Review Date: Jul 14, 2013

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View Sources

Medical References

Advanced Urologic Laparoscopy. Urologic Institute of NJ. http://www.urologicinstituteofnj.com/laparoscopy.html. Accessed June 14, 2013.
Laparoscopy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq061.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130615T1006378579. Accessed June 14, 2013.
Pelvic Cavity. State University of New York at Buffalo. http://www.smbs.buffalo.edu/ana/newpage45.htm. Accessed June 14, 2013.
Pelvic laparoscopy – Overview. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002916.htm. Accessed June 14, 2013.
Pile, JC. Evaluating postoperative fever: A focused approach. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2006;73 (Suppl 1):S62. http://ccjm.org/content/73/Suppl_1/S62.full.pdf. Accessed June 14, 2013.

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