It is an operation to look inside the abdomen. It usually involves a horizontal bikini-line incision of 8 to 10 cm [3 to 4 inches], but it may be longer to allow better access to the pelvic cavity.
It is very rare to make a vertical incision which starts in the middle of the abdomen and extends from just below the navel to just above the pubic bone. This gives the surgeon greater access to the pelvic cavity than a horizontal incision does and it reduces bleeding. It's rarely used, unless the organ of interest is so big that it extends up past the navel.
Following the surgery you will stay in hospital for 48 to 72 hours. In general, recovery may take between 2 to 6 weeks. It is best to avoid driving, intensive exercise, sex and swimming for 6 weeks.