Important information for patients regarding laparotomy surgery and the diseases it can treat. While a laparotomy can be life-saving, it is not without risks. This article discusses the essential parts of a laparotomy (also known as coeliotomy). These types of surgeries are performed for many different reasons and can be used to operate on several different organs.
A laparotomy surgery is the technical term for the surgical approach to many different types of surgeries. The approach is the method by which a surgeon is able to get to the organ of interest. A laparotomy involves cutting into the ventral abdomen, through the skin, abdominal muscles, fascia, and peritoneum. This incision needes to be at least several inches long because a large cut is required to get to most abdominal organs. A laparotomy can be performed with several different types of incisions and can be made in numerous areas of the abdomen. But the typical location of the cut is the midline of the abdomen, avoiding the belly button.
The most common of these surgeries is the exploratory laparotomy – a laparotomy required to make a medical diagnosis. The abdomen is cut vertically, just enough to allow the surgeon to look around the belly and figure out what is causing the problems. This ‘exploration’ is normally followed by a therapeutic procedure to fix the problem found. Exploratory laparotomies can sometimes be performed with scopes, but due to the emergency nature of the surgery, this is not frequently performed.
Laparotomy recovery is highly variable, due to the varied nature of the surgeries this procedure is performed for. Some surgeries, such as an appendectomy can require minimal time for healing while large surgeries such as a colectomy or the famous Whipple procedure require multiple-day hospital stays and put the patient at a high risk of infection. Laparotomy recovery tends to be slower than recovery from laparoscopic surgery recover, this is primarily because most laparoscopic procedures are much less invasive.
For many emergency procedures, trauma, and other unplanned problems; a laparotomy is required. Without the proper exposure from a large incision, the medical problem is difficult to determine and treat. That is why most exploratory laparotomy scars can involve a large section of the abdomen, since the procedure can be very dangerous. This also allows for proper infection cleaning and other problems in the abdomen, prevent further complications and re-intervention.
Surgery procedures performed on the abdomen are an important part of modern medicine and will be required in many cases. Proper surgical approaches are essential to the diagnosis and treatment of both emergent and planned procedures. With proper medical knowledge, training and surgical care, laparotomy surgery can be a life-saving and safe procedure for all patients.