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Exploratory Laparotomy

Exploratory laparotomy is done while you are under general anesthesia. This means you are asleep and feel no pain.  Laparotomy is often the most invasive type of surgery but for many patients it is the most effective way of ensuring removal of the most amount of disease possible.

 

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.

 

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)

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