Exploratory Laparatomy

What is an exploratory laparatomy?

Sometimes patients have unexplained stomach or abdominal pain or intestinal problems. If tests have not revealed the cause of the pain or problem and in emergency situations when there is no time for testing, an exploratory laparotomy is performed. Exploratory laparatomy is an operation. The surgeon makes a cut (incision) in the abdomen and visually investigates organs within the abdominal cavity to determine the cause of the problem.

Does an exploratory laparatomy hurt?

Not during the operation, because general anesthesia is used to prevent discomfort to the patient. However, the incision site in the abdomen may be sore for some time following the operation.

Are there any potential complications associated with an exploratory laparatomy?

Infection and bleeding are rare complications associated with exploratory laparatomy. Other potential complications are related to the underlying problem. Talk to the doctor or nurse if you have any questions.