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Most cases of laparoscopic surgery occur in the upper or lower regions of the abdomen. For such a procedure, the individual is placed under a general anesthetic that puts the patient to sleep. The abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas that adds space and lifts the abdominal wall to give the surgeon a better view of the internal organs.
Very small incisions, about 1/2 inch, or 1 cm in length, are made near the belly button. For gynecological, colon or exploratory procedures, two additional incisions might be made in the lower abdomen. The number and location of incisions will be determined by the type of surgery necessary.
Following the surgical procedure, the instruments are removed, and gas is removed from the body cavity, or absorbed and processed by the body during the hours following surgery. In most cases, only one self-dissolving stitch to close the incision is necessary, or the doctor may choose a steristrip, which is much like a piece of tape that holds the sides of the incision together during the healing process.