A laparoscopy is a small operation used to look at organs inside your tummy (abdomen). It can be used to diagnose cancer, or to take small tissue samples for a biopsy.

A laparoscopy is a small operation that can be used for cancer diagnosis or for some treatments. It allows the doctor to look at organs in your tummy (abdomen) or pelvis, and to take small samples of tissue (biopsies). It is done under a general anaesthetic. Many people can go home the same day, but some people may have to stay in hospital overnight.

Your doctor will discuss this test with you if they think it will be helpful.

In a laparoscopy, a surgeon makes one or more cuts in the tummy (abdomen). Each cut is about 1cm to 2cm long. They pump some carbon dioxide gas into the abdomen to lift up the tummy wall, so the organs can be seen clearly.

The surgeon then carefully inserts a thin tube with a tiny video camera on the end (laparoscope) into your tummy (abdomen). They use the laparoscope to look at the organs in your tummy or pelvis. The surgeon may take a biopsy. To do this, they will insert an instrument to take the sample.


When the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off, you will be able to get up. You sometimes need to stay in hospital overnight. You will have stitches in your tummy where the cuts were made.

You may have discomfort in your neck or shoulder afterwards but this will go away after a day or two. Walking about can help relieve it.

Some people have uncomfortable wind in the tummy after surgery. Your nurse can talk to you about how to manage this. They may advise you to take sips of peppermint water. Moving around can also help.