Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Laparotomy for Pelvic Problems - Topic Overview

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 pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and ectopic pregnancy. Laparotomy is usually done under general anesthesia.

Laparotomy is most often done:

Recommended Related to Women

Stop Procrastinating – Right Now!

By Melissa Kirsch6 ways to outsmart your paralysis and actually get something done I procrastinate horribly — not about everything, just about phone calls. Sometimes I put off making dinner reservations until all I can get is a 10 p.m. slot at my third-favorite restaurant. I regularly run out of prescriptions because I can't manage to phone the pharmacy for refills. I dial my mother so rarely that, when I do, she thinks someone died. For no reason I can understand, the prospect of making even...

Read the Stop Procrastinating – Right Now! article > >

  • When a life-threatening condition is present, such as appendicitis or ectopic pregnancy, that requires immediate surgery.
  • When scarring (adhesions) or abnormal conditions make it difficult to use laparoscopy 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Laparotomy for Pelvic Problems Topics

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz