Laparotomy is a procedure in which a surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdomen in order to inspect the abdominal cavity. During laparotomy, the surgeon can correct structural problems or remove tumors, sites of endometriosis (implants), or scar tissue (adhesions).
Laparotomy is also used to diagnose and treat female pelvic conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and ectopic pregnancy. Laparotomy is less commonly used to explore the source of abdominal problems.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise