What Is a Laparotomy?
The term laparotomy refers to an incision made to the abdomen for the purpose of exploratory surgery. A laparotomy may be indicated when physicians want to locate the source of pain-causing issues in the abdominal or pelvic regions of the body.
During the procedure, a surgeon may, upon discovering the issue at hand, decide to operate to remove or repair the affected tissues.
Among the issues that can be addressed during laparotomy is endometriosis.
In cases of severe endometriosis, laparoscopy (minimally invasive option) may not be possible or it may not be a viable option.
When Is a Laparotomy Needed?
Because minimally invasive procedures have become preferable over open surgery, open abdominal surgery (laparotomy) is less frequently prescribed today. Cases of advanced cancer growth or in cases where laparoscopic techniques are not appropriate to treat or repair the condition in question may require a laparotomy. Your doctor will advise you on what procedure is right for you.
Preparing for a Laparotomy
Since a laparotomy is not a minimally invasive procedure, it’s performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon may give you specific guidelines for preparing for the procedure including fasting prior to the procedure and discontinuing certain medications that heighten the risk of bleeding.
Procedures Related to Laparotomy
This procedure is commonly prescribed for cancers affecting women and the surgery seeks to remove the uterus primarily. Total or radical hysterectomies may be performed through a laparotomy wherein the fallopian tubes, ovaries and adjacent tissues may be removed.
In laparotomy (abdominal surgery) a myomectomy is performed to remove uterine fibroid growths (leiomyomas). Fibroid removal does not remove the uterus.
Results & Recovery after Laparotomy
After your procedure has been completed, the abdominal incision will be sutured and you will be moved from the surgical suite to a recovery area. Because open surgery requires a larger incision, you may need more time to recover before returning home as opposed to minimally invasive procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis.
Common side effects and risks after surgery include pain, irritation, bleeding and infection at the surgical site. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s guidance completely and seek care immediately if you experience severe pain or bleeding. If you’re experiencing a health emergency, please dial 911.
How Advanced Gynecology Can Help
Our dual-board certified surgeons and specialists make every effort possible to ensure your best care through minimally invasive means. If your doctor recommends laparotomy, we can help you schedule your procedure or a referral if necessary. To learn more, call a patient coordinator today to schedule an office visit or to get more information.