Abdominal surgery can encompass any type of surgical procedure involving one or more of the organs found in the abdominal region of the body. Some of these organs include the kidneys, liver, and appendix. Surgery may become necessary due to a traumatic injury or natural disease. There are three basic types of abdominal surgery. These procedures are known as an appendectomy, laparotomy, and laparoscopy.
An appendectomy is a common type of abdominal surgery involving the removal of the appendix. The usual reason for this type of surgery is inflammation of the appendix, commonly known as appendicitis. Occasionally, an appendectomy may be performed as an addition to another type of abdominal procedure. Recovery tends to be relatively quick after an appendectomy if the procedure is performed before the appendix ruptures. A ruptured appendix may require a longer hospital stay and extra monitoring by the medical team to make sure that complications do not arise after the surgery.
A laparotomy is an exploratory type of abdominal surgery. This procedure is performed in order to give the doctor a better idea of what may be causing a variety of abdominal symptoms. For example, a laparotomy may be performed to find the source of internal bleeding due to some sort of trauma, such as an automobile accident. Depending on the findings from this procedure, additional surgery may be necessary.
Laparoscopy is another common type of abdominal surgery, often used as a less invasive alternative than open surgery. In this procedure, several small holes are surgically made in the abdominal wall. Tubes are then inserted into these holes. A small camera is inserted into one of these tubes to allow the surgeon to see the contents of the abdominal cavity without having to use a larger incision. Small surgical instruments as well as gases used to assist in the procedure also travel through the tubes that have been placed into the abdomen.
A cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, is often performed using laparoscopic surgery. Various types of abdominal cyst removals may also be performed in this manner. This type of procedure greatly reduces the amount of time a patient must stay in the hospital following surgery, with many being able to return home the same day. Recovery time is also significantly reduced when laparoscopic surgery is chosen over the more invasive open surgery option.