JOHN GREIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN GREIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Surgeons performing a laparoscopic operation on a patient's abdomen. A laparoscope (a type of endoscope) is a steel tube containing optical fibres, a light source, and small surgical instruments which may be manipulated by remote control. The field of view is displayed via video monitors. Laparoscopy is performed under general anaesthesia: a hollow needle is inserted into the abdomen & carbon dioxide gas pumped in to distend it, prior to introducing the endoscope. The instrument is mainly used in gynaecology; in testing for infertility, for sterilization & for harvesting ova for in vitro fertilization.
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