Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions in the abdomen, using specialized instruments. This type of surgery is also called 'minimally invasive surgery' or 'keyhole surgery' because of the very small incisions used. Yet major procedures can now be performed using this technique. In this procedure, a pencil-thin instrument called a laparoscope is used.
A laparoscope has lenses like a telescope to magnify body structures, a powerful light to illuminate them, and a miniature video camera. The camera sends a magnified image from inside the body to a video monitor, giving the surgeon a close-up view of the organs and tissues. Specialized surgical instruments can be inserted through the laparoscope, and through small incisions nearby.