Mayo stand and back table instruments for Exploratory Laparotomy surgery setup
Clamping & Occluding
Cutting & Dissecting
Grasping & Holding
Retracting & Exposing
Suturing & Stapling
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.