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Laparoscopic diagnostic exploration


Definition: Diagnostic laparoscopy is generally reserved for patients who suffer from an undiagnosed abdominal problem that cannot be defined by physical exam or through x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds etc.

Reason for the procedure:

  • Chronic abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Abdominal mass
  • Ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity)
  • Liver disease
  • “Second look” procedure for cancer or trauma


  • Vary per patient

Treatment options

  • Nonsurgical options: There are other tests which may be used to diagnose your problem, such as CT scans, MRI, endoscopy etc.
  • Surgical option: Laparoscopic or the conventional open diagnostic laparoscopy

Risks associated with surgery

  • Infection of the skin
  • Bleeding
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Intestinal injury

(This is only a partial list of potential complications)

Pre-operative preparation

  • May include blood work, urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, and an abdominal CT scan.

Average hospital stay

  • Varies amongst patients.

Type of anesthesia required

  • Laparoscopic surgery requires general anesthesia which blocks pain and keeps you asleep throughout the entire surgery. Local anesthesia with associated sedation may be an option.

Recovery period

Once you have undergone laparoscopic surgery, your recovery period is usually shortened when compared to conventional open surgery.