St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Abdominal exploration

    Laparotomy; Exploratory laparotomy

    Abdominal exploration is surgery to look at the organs and structures in your belly area (abdomen). This includes your:

    • Appendix
    • Bladder
    • Gallbladder
    • Intestines
    • Kidney and ureters
    • Liver
    • Pancreas
    • Spleen
    • Stomach
    • Uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries (in women)

    Surgery that opens the abdomen is called a laparotomy.

    Description

    Exploratory laparotomyis 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.

    A biopsy can be taken during the procedure.

    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 ifimaging tests of the abdomen, such as x-rays and CT scans, have not provided an accurate diagnosis.

    Exploratory laparotomy may be used to help diagnose and treat many health conditions, including:

    • Cancer of the ovary, colon, pancreas, liver
    • Endometriosis
    • Gallstones
    • Hole in the intestine (intestinal perforation)
    • Inflammation of the appendix (acute appendicitis)
    • Inflammation of an intestinal pocket (diverticulitis)
    • Inflammation of the pancreas (acute or chronic pancreatitis)
    • Liver abscess
    • Pockets of infection (retroperitoneal abscess, abdominal abscess, pelvic abscess)
    • Pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
    • Scar tissue in the abdomen (adhesions)

    Risks

    Risks of any anesthesia include the following:

    • Severe medication reaction
    • Problems breathing

    Risks of any surgery include the following:

    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Damage to nearby structures

    Additional risks include incisional hernia.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    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.

    References

    Martin RS, Meredith JW. Management of acute trauma. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds.Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 18.

    Squires RA, Postier RG. Acute abdomen. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds.Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 47.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Digestive system

      illustration

    • Pelvic adhesions

      illustration

    • Abdominal exploration - ...

      Presentation

      • Digestive system

        illustration

      • Pelvic adhesions

        illustration

      • Abdominal exploration - ...

        Presentation

      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Abdominal exploration

            Review Date: 5/16/2012

            Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Ann Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            History
            Mission
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs
            Assessment

            Newsroom
            Services
            Brain & Spine
            Cancer
            Heart
            Maternity
            Orthopedics
            Pulmonary
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            mystlukes
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Health Risk Assessments
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Volunteer
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            Careers
            Careers
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile