Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Laparotomy: exploratory

Synonym(s): Exploratory celiotomy, exploratory laparotomy, ex lap

Contributor(s): Kathryn Pratschke, Zoe Halfacree

Definition

  • Celiotomy is an incision into the abdominal cavity. It is a term that does not specify which approach has been used.
  • Laparotomy refers to a flank incision, although it is often used synonymously with celiotomy.  Despite the fact that a true exploratory ‘laparotomy’ per se is rarely if ever performed in small animals, the term ‘ex lap’ is routinely used to denote exploratory celiotomy or exploratory abdominal surgery.  As ‘ex lap’ is the term in most common colloquial use, it will be used here.

Indications for exploratory abdominal surgery

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Key points

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Surgical anatomy

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Patient preparation for surgery

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Useful surgical equipment

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Celiotomy technique

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Exploring the abdomen

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To biopsy or not?

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Abdominal/peritoneal lavage

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Lester S, Welsh E, Pratschke K (2004) Complications of exploratory coeliotomy in 70 cats.  J Small Anim Pract 45(7), 351-356 PubMed.
  • Boothe H W, Slater M R, Hobson H P, Fossum T W, Jung C (1992) Exploratory celiotomy in 200 nontraumatized dogs and cats. Vet Surg 21(6), 452-457 PubMed.
  • Schneider R K, Meyer D J, Embertson R M, Gentile D G, Buergelt C D (1988) Response of pony peritoneum to four peritoneal lavage solutions. Am J Vet Res 49(6), 889-894.
  • Rosin E, Richardson S (1987) Effect of fascial closure technique on strength of healing abdominal incisions in the dog. A biomechanical study. Vet Surg 16, 269.
  • Lores M E, Ortíz J R, Rosselló P J (1981) Peritoneal lavage with povidone-iodine solution in experimentally induced peritonitis. Surg Gynecol Obstet 153(1),33-38.
  • Alexander H C, Prudden J F (1966) The causes of abdominal wound disruption. Surg Gynecol Obstet 122,1223.

Other sources of information

  • Smeak D D (2012) Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Hernias. In: Veterinary Surgery, Small Animals.  Ed Tobias K M and Johnston S A. Elsevier Saunders, Missouri. pp 1353 -1379.


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