Laparotomy

REASONS FOR PROCEDURE

  • Diagnostic examination of the abdominal organs.
  • Collection of tissue samples for diagnosis.
  • Closure of hernias in the abdominal wall.
  • Repair of removal of abnormal tissue.
  • Removal of diseased organs.
  • Correction of unsightly or disfiguring abnormalities.

RISK INCREASES WITH

  • Stress; obesity; smoking.
  • Excess alcohol consumption.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Recent acute infection.
  • Chronic illness.
  • History of prior abdominal surgery, particularly if it occurred at the side of the current surgery.

DECRYPTION OF PROCEDURE

  • Spinal or general anesthesia is administered by injection and inhalation with an airway tube placed in the windpipe.
  • An incision is made in the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are separated, and the peritoneum (inner lining of the abdomen( is opened.
  • Blood vessels cut during the surgery are clamped and tied.
  • Wound edges are retracted with a special instrument.
  • Fluid in the abdominal cavity is often removed for laboratory examination.
  • The abdominal organs are examined. Other surgeries may be performed at this time.
  • Samples of suspicious tissue are gathered or diseased areas are treated.
  • The peritoneum is closed, and the muscles are reconstructed with heavy sutures.
  • The skin is closed with sutures or clips, which usually can be removed about 3 to 7 days after surgery.

EXPECTED OUTCOME
Expect complete healing without complications. Allow about 4 weeks for recovery from surgery.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Surgical wound infection.
  • Incisional hernia.
  • Abscess formation.
  • Complications related to the anesthetic.
  • On rare occasions, injury to bowel, pelvic organs and blood vessels.

POSTPROCEDURE CARE
GENERAL MEASURES

  • A hard ridge should form along the incision. As it heals, the ridge will recede gradually.
  • Use an electric heating pad, a heat lamp or a warm compress to relive incisional pain.
  • Bathe and shower as usual. You may wash the incision gently with mild unscented soap.
  • Move and elevate legs often while resting in be to decrease the chance of deep-vein blood clots.

ACTIVITY

  • To help recovery and aid your well-being, resume daily activities, including work, as soon as you are able.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 6 weeks after surgery.
  • Sexual relations may be resumed when follow-up medical examination reveals complete healing.
  • Resume driving about 3 weeks after returning home.