Laparoscopy is a group of operations carried out with the aid of a camera inserted into the abdomen or pelvis. A small incision is made in the abdominal wall through which a laparoscope, a short flexible lighted tube with a camera attached, is inserted so that structures within the abdomen and pelvis can be examined. The abdominal cavity is made more visible by distending it with an absorbable gas, usually carbon dioxide. Laparoscopy may be done to diagnose a condition (called diagnostic laparoscopy). A number of major and minor surgeries may also be carried out. A variety of tubes and instruments can be inserted through the same incision in the skin, or other small incisions, facilitating a number of surgical procedures without the need for a large incision. This technique is known as laparoscopic-assisted surgery or

laparoscopic surgery

. Most patients receive general anaesthetic during the procedure.

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