Exploratory Laparotomy: Why It’s Done, What to Expect

Exploratory Laparoscopic Surgery (ELS) is a surgical technique used to perform a minimally invasive surgery in which the surgeon uses only instruments that are available at the operating room. These instruments are placed into small incisions made in the patient’s abdomen or pelvis. A camera attached to an endoscope allows surgeons to see inside the body without having to remove internal organs such as intestines, blood vessels, etc..

What Is Exploratory Laparotomy?

The term “exploratory” refers to the fact that the surgeon does not actually cut through the abdominal wall. Instead, they use instruments like small incision saws and other tools to make tiny cuts in various parts of the patient’s abdomen or pelvic area. These cuts allow them to access different areas of the body without removing any vital organs. They then stitch up these smaller wounds with sutures and stitches.

Why Does It Work?

In some cases, it may seem that a laparoscopic approach would be too risky because the surgeon might have to go all the way around your stomach and possibly even through your liver. However, in many cases there is no need to do so since you will not die from the surgery itself. There are several reasons why this type of surgery works better than other types of surgeries. The first reason is that it is less risky because the surgeon can more easily make repairs to damaged organs without cutting through other vital organs or structures. The second reason is that your body heals faster when the incisions are smaller and there are less of them.

What Are Its Advantages?

The biggest advantage of an ELS procedure is that it allows the surgeon to see what they are doing in real time without having to cut through as much tissue. It also allows the surgeon to work in less dangerous conditions with fewer vital organs exposed. There is less bleeding and the patient heals much more quickly because there are far less cuts than a traditional open surgery procedure. The overall result is that the patient heals faster and experiences less pain.

What Are Its Disadvantages?

The biggest disadvantage of an ELS procedure is that it requires specialized training for the surgeon and equipment that may not be available at every hospital. In addition, the equipment used for this procedure is very expensive and not every hospital can afford the latest technology. In some cases it may take a bit longer to complete the procedure since the surgeon has more tools to work with and must be careful not to break or bend any of them. Despite these disadvantages, however, most patients find that it is well worth it when they are fully healed from their procedures.

How Is It Done?

An ELS procedure is very similar to a laparoscopic surgery. In preparation for the surgery, the patient is asked to fast for at least eight hours before hand. They are also given a sedative to help them relax. The patient is then taken to the operating room and placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s navel. A series of other small incisions are made in the skin around the navel. Using an instrument known as an insufflator, the surgeon then inflates the area around the skin incisions to create a space between the skin and abdominal wall. The surgeon then uses a carbon dioxide laser to make small cuts in the abdominal wall, which allows them to see inside the abdomen without actually making larger cuts. Using a procedure called morcellation, the surgeon then cuts away the uterus and removes it through the incision in the navel and stitches you up. The surgeon then closes the skin incisions around the navel using stitches or surgical glue. In most cases, the patient is kept in the hospital for a few days before they recover sufficiently to go home.

What Are The Risks?

As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks. These risks include infection, excessive bleeding or blood clots. There is the risk of injury to other organs or structures during the procedure. If the incision in the navel is larger than expected, it may be difficult to close the incision. This could cause problems with the ability to wear certain clothing, hold objects or engage in certain activities. There is also the risk of damage to the liver or some other vital organ as a result of the morcellation procedure. This could require another, more involved operation to repair the injury. In some cases, complications may occur after the surgery and you may have to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. These are serious risks and you should discuss them with your doctor before making a final decision.

What Are My Options?

While many women choose to have an ELS procedure, you may have some other options as well. One alternative to an ELS is a traditional hysterectomy in which your uterus is removed through an incision in your lower abdomen. This procedure, however, does not allow your doctor to remove just the uterus and will require a larger incision than is normally required. It may also result in more pain and a longer recovery period.

Sources & references used in this article:

Preoperative laparoscopy in diagnosis of acute abdominal pain by PH Sugarbaker, BS Bloom, JH Sanders, RE Wilson – The Lancet, 1975 – Elsevier

The role of peritoneal lavage in the management of stab wounds to the abdomen by TA Galbraith, MR Oreskovich, DM Heimbach… – The American Journal of …, 1980 – Elsevier

Reverse Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Following Exploratory Laparotomy by T Akel, E Barsoum, J Mroue, N Nalluri… – … high impact case …, 2018 – journals.sagepub.com