The procedure is usually done in the hospital under general anesthesia. A catheter (a small flexible tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. An additional tube may be passed through the nostril into the stomach (NG tube). The skin of the abdomen is cleaned, and sterile drapes are applied.
After a small cut is made above or below the belly button (navel), a tube is inserted. A tiny video camera passes through the tube. Carbon dioxide gas is injected into the abdomen to lift the abdominal wall, making a larger space in which to work. This allows for easier viewing and moving of the organs.
The laparoscope is then inserted, and the organs of the pelvis and abdomen are examined. Additional small openings are made for instruments that let the surgeon move, cut, stitch, and staple structures during the operation.
After the examination, the laparoscope is removed, all openings are stitched closed, and bandages are applied. Depending on the operation performed, a tube may be left through one of the cuts to let fluids drain.