Abdominal laparoscopy is a useful aid in diagnosing disease or trauma in the abdominal cavity with less scarring than with a large abdominal incision. Large operations such as liver and pancreatic resections may begin with laparoscopy to exclude the presence of additional tumors (metastatic disease) that would preclude curative resection. The procedure is usually done in the hospital under general anesthesia, but it may be done under local anesthesia.
Review Date 5/17/2020
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.