Laparoscopy allows evaluation of abdominal organs using a minimally invasive procedure. An endoscopic camera and instruments are introduced into the abdomen using two to three incisions that are 5-10 mm in length. The organs of the abdomen including the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, pancreas, and GI tract can then be visualized. Biopsies of abnormal organs can be obtained and this form of the procedure is called diagnostic laparoscopy. Liver biopsy is the most common reason for performing diagnostic laparoscopy and has several advantages over ultrasound-guided and open surgical biopsy techniques. Laparoscopy can also be used therapeutically (see Minimally Invasive Surgery with our Soft Tissue Surgery Service).