Laparoscope: An instrument through which structures within the abdomen and pelvis can be seen. A small surgical incision (cut) is made in the abdominal wall to permit the laparoscope to enter the abdomen or pelvis. A diversity of tubes can be pushed through the same incision or other small incisions permitting the introduction of probes and other instruments. In this way, a number of surgical procedures can be performed without the need for a large surgical incision. Virtually all parts of the body today can be visualized using a laparoscope including the joints of the body.
Laparoscope comes from two Greek words. The first is lapara, which means "the soft parts of the body between the rib margins and hips," or, more simply, the "flank or loin." The other Greek root is skopein, which means "to see or view or examine." Skopein has become -scope in English.