(Abdominal Exploration; Laparotomy, Exploratory)
|Abdominal Organs, Anterior View|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Blood clots
- Damage to organs
- Hernia formation
- Large scars
- Reaction to the anesthesia
- Previous abdominal surgery
- Heart or lung disease
- Weak immune system
- Blood disorders
- Taking certain medicines
- Smoking, alcohol abuse, or drug use
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may perform the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood and urine tests
- Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to visualize the inside of the body
- Computed tomography (CT) scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the body
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin)
- Blood thinners, like clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- Arrange for a ride home.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You may need to wear special socks or boots to help prevent blood clots.
- You may have a foley catheter for a short time to help you urinate.
- You may use an incentive spirometer to help you breathe deeply.
- Follow your doctor's instructions .
- The doctor will remove the sutures or staples in 7-10 days.
- Take proper care of the incision site. This will help to prevent an infection.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- During the first two weeks, rest and avoid lifting.
- Slowly increase your activities. Begin with light chores, short walks, and some driving. Depending on your job, you may be able to return to work.
- To promote healing, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables .
Try to avoid
- Eating high-fiber foods
- Drinking plenty of water
- Using stool softeners if needed
Call Your Doctor
- Fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Increasing pain or pain that does not go away
- Your abdomen becomes swollen or hard to the touch
- Diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than 3 days
- Bright red or dark black stools
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain or difficulty with urination
- Swelling, redness, or pain in your leg
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Carson-DeWitt R. Spinal and epidural anesthesia. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated July 2009. Accessed August 8, 2009.
Laparoscopic surgery. Women's Surgery Group website. Available at: http://www.womenssurgerygroup.com/treatments/laparoscopic.asp . Accessed August 8, 2009.
Testing biopsy and cytology specimens for cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ped/content/ped%5F2%5F3x%5Ftesting%5Fbiopsy%5Fand%5Fcytology%5Fspecimens%5Ffor%5Fcancer.asp?sitearea=ped . Updated December 2007. Accessed June 5, 2008.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -