Laparotomy

laparotomy is a surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity.

Photo from Flickr (deflam). This laparotomy was performed for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

The most common incision for laparotomy is the midline incision, a vertical incision which follows the linea alba.

  • The upper midline incision usually extends from the xiphoid process to the umbilicus.
  • A typical lower midline incision is limited by the umbilicus superiorly and by the pubic symphysisinferiorly.
  • Sometimes a single incision extending from xiphoid process to pubic symphysis is employed, especially in trauma surgery.

Midline incisions are particularly favoured in diagnostic laparotomy, as they allow wide access to most of the abdominal cavity. (from wikipedia)

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