Exploratory Laparotomy

Mayo stand and back table instruments for Exploratory Laparotomy surgery setup

Clamping & Occluding

  • Allis Forceps

    Allis Forceps

  • Curved Hemostat

    Curved Hemostat

  • Kelly Forceps

    Kelly Forceps

Cutting & Dissecting

  • #3 Knife Handle

    #3 Knife Handle

  • Metzenbaum Scissor

    Metzenbaum Scissor

  • Straight Mayo Scissor

    Straight Mayo Scissor

Grasping & Holding

  • Adson Forceps

    Adson Forceps

  • Debakey Forcep

    Debakey Forcep

  • Toothed Forcep

    Toothed Forcep

Retracting & Exposing

  • Army-Navy Retractor

    Army-Navy Retractor

  • Bookwalter Retractor

    Bookwalter Retractor

  • Richardson Retractor

    Richardson Retractor

Suctioning

  • Poole Suction Probe

    Poole Suction Probe

  • Yankauer Suction

    Yankauer Suction

Suturing & Stapling

  • Mayo-Hegar Needle Holder

    Mayo-Hegar Needle Holder

What to expect during Exploratory Laparotomy

A 10 blade will be used to made a big incision on the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon will dissect down to the bowel using cautery, Metz, and a variety of pickups such as adsons, rat tooths, and debakeys. At the beginning, they will use medium and big Richardson retractors to retract. Once they are done dissecting, they will more than likely want a Bookwalter retractor.

They will use their hands to follow the intestines to try to find the problem area. A lot of the time, a piece is simply twisted and needs to be put back into place. Other times, a part of the bowel may be dead, and a bowel resection will need to be done. Rarely the surgeon won’t be able to find anything wrong in the abdomen.

Once the problem is solved, the abdomen is usually closed, but sometimes it is left open if the patient is expected to have another surgery to solve their problem, or if there is a lot of infection already.

They will close in layers, and a drain may be placed for any excessive fluid and pooling in the abdomen.

I like to use a fluid warmer for my saline, just because they will irrigate the entire abdomen.

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