Laparotomy for Pelvic Problems
A laparotomy is a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to visually inspect the abdominal cavity through an incision in the abdomen. Laparotomy may be used in the diagnosis and treatment of female pelvic conditions such as Reference pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Opens New Window, Reference endometriosis Opens New Window, Reference uterine fibroids Opens New Window, Reference ovarian cysts Opens New Window, and Reference ectopic pregnancy Opens New Window. Laparotomy is usually done under Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window.
Laparotomy is most often done:
- When a life-threatening condition is present, such as Reference appendicitis Opens New Window or Reference ectopic pregnancy Opens New Window, that requires immediate surgery.
- When scarring (Reference adhesions Opens New Window) or abnormal conditions make it difficult to use Reference laparoscopy Opens New Window to see inside the abdomen.
- For diagnosis of pelvic symptoms; treatment can be done at the same time.
For PID, laparotomy is not done as often as laparoscopy, which requires special equipment and training. But laparotomy is done if a hospital is not equipped for laparoscopy, or if another problem is suspected, such as a ruptured appendix.
The hospital or surgery center may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.
Right after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and observe you. You most likely will stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and then you will be moved to a hospital room. In addition to any special instructions from your doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you during your recovery.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 23, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology