Laparotomy, also called abdominal exploration, is an operation that is performed to view the inside of the abdomen and its organs to help diagnose the cause of complaints such as abdominal pain. This operation is done through a surgical cut in the abdominal cavity. Once the issue is identified, it is fixed, if possible, during the laparotomy. A second operation may be needed to resolve the condition in some cases.
Before beginning the operation, the doctor will:
To prevent any complications, the doctor should be informed of:
Precautions on the day of surgery:
The following care will be taken while in the hospital after the surgery:
Following are some do’s and don’ts once you are home after the laparotomy:
Rest well and enough: About two weeks after the laparotomy, you can slowly start doing more work, and by six weeks, you can get back to normal levels of activity. In this duration, you can carry out light activities like dusting and making a cup of tea. Instead of lifting your children, allow them to climb on your lap while you are sitting.
Exercise: You might be seated most of the time, but too much sitting can cause swelling in your feet or ankles. It can also increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis (formation of blood clots in the veins of your legs). You may feel tired while exercising, so remember to increase the time and sets of your exercises gradually. Continue to perform the exercises taught by the physiotherapist. You may even swim after six to eight weeks when your wound has healed entirely.
Eat healthy: Follow a healthy and balanced diet to accelerate your healing process. Some healthy foods you can include in your routine are:
Fiber-rich foods like beans, bran flakes, beans, wholemeal bread. These aid with constipation, one of the possible side effects of medications
Plenty of fluid intake, at least eight glasses of water or non-sugary drinks, every day
Protein-rich foods like meat, hearty greens, fish, eggs, pulses and beans
Fresh fruits and veggies
Consult your physician if you have a poor appetite after the surgery
Drive extra carefully
If you have someone to drive you, it is totally fine. However, if you plan to drive, especially for long distances, stretch your legs at regular intervals. Make sure you drive only when:
You are comfortable in applying emergency breaks and stopping the vehicle suddenly.
You have stopped medications that can affect your driving ability
You have an insurance cover
You can entirely concentrate on the drive
Even if your wound has not healed and you still have paper strips, staples, or clips on your wound, continue to bathe or shower daily to prevent the risk of infection. Use unperfumed soaps. After bathing or showering, dry yourself with a dry and clean towel.
If you have a closed wound, keep it uncovered for it to heal better
Use medications as per your doctor’s instructions
Resume work when you feel ready
Avoid the following tasks immediately after surgery:
Lifting heavy objects
Playing strenuous sports
Too much of stretching, pulling or pushing
Heavy household chores like mopping floors, vacuuming, and ironing
Do not carry a weight of more than three pints for up to 12 weeks after your surgery
Do not do exercise rigorously
Do not use any ointment or cream on the wound site unless instructed by your doctor
If you experience vaginal bleeding or discharge, do not use tampons as they may increase your risk of acquiring a vaginal infection. If you use sanitary pads, make sure to change them often
The possible complications after laparotomy are:
Complications that are linked to the laparotomy procedure are: