Abdominal exploration is surgery to look at the organs and structures in your belly area (abdomen). This includes your:
- Kidney and ureters
- Uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries (in women)
Surgery that opens the abdomen is called a laparotomy.
Laparotomy; Exploratory laparotomy
Exploratory laparotomy is done while you are under general anesthesia, which means you are asleep and feel no pain.
The surgeon makes a cut into the abdomen and examines the abdominal organs. The size and location of the surgical cut depends on the specific health concern.
Laparoscopy describes a group of procedures that are performed with a camera placed in the abdomen. If possible, laparoscopy will be done instead of laparotomy.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Your doctor may recommend a laparatomy if imaging tests of the abdomen, such as
Exploratory laparotomy may be used to help diagnose and treat many health conditions, including:
Cancerof the ovary, colon, pancreas, liver Endometriosis Gallstones
- Hole in the intestine (intestinal perforation)
- Inflammation of the appendix (
- Inflammation of an intestinal pocket (
- Inflammation of the pancreas (
acuteor chronic pancreatitis) Liver abscess
- Pockets of infection (retroperitoneal abscess,
abdominal abscess, pelvic abscess)
- Pregnancy outside of the uterus (
- Scar tissue in the abdomen (
Risks of any anesthesia include the following:
- Severe medication reaction
- Problems breathing
Risks of any surgery include the following:
- Damage to nearby structures
Additional risks include incisional
You should be able to start eating and drinking normally about 2 – 3 days after the surgery. How long you stay in the hospital depends on the severity of the problem. Complete recovery usually takes about 4 weeks.