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The Methodist Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine
6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030
Maps & Directions
Diagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to look directly at the contents of a patient's abdomen or pelvis, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, small bowel, large bowel, appendix, liver and gallbladder. The procedure is usually done in the hospital or outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia while the patient is unconscious and unable to recognize pain.
During the procedure, a surgeon makes a small cut below the belly button or navel and inserts a needle into the area. Carbon dioxide gas is used fill the abdominal cavity with air to move the abdominal wall and any organs out of the way, creating a larger space in which to work. This helps the surgeon see the area. A small video camera called a laparoscope is passed through the abdominal wall and is used to evaluate the inside of your pelvis and abdomen. Additional small incisions may be made if other instruments are needed to obtain a better view of certain organs.
Why the test is performed
The examination helps identify the cause of pain in the abdomen and pelvic area. It is done after othernoninvasive tests. Laparoscopy may detect or diagnose the following conditions:
- Adhesive disease or scar tissue in the abdomen
- Cancer, such as ovarian cancer
- Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Major procedures to treat cancer may begin with laparoscopy to rule out the presence of cancer spread and metastatic disease, which would change the course of treatment.