[Abdominal approaches and drainages of the abdominal cavity]

C Hagel, M Schilling
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift Für Alle Gebiete der Operativen Medizen 2006, 77 (4): 383-92; quiz 393-4
Appropriate access to the abdominal cavity is the first and crucial step for successful abdominal surgical intervention. In planning the incision, several variables have to be considered, such as anatomy of the abdominal wall, localization of the target organ, and individual conditions (previous incisions, minimal access surgery, etc). Medial laparotomy is the preferred incision for emergency cases and ill-defined pathologies, allowing access and hence exploration to all quadrants. Transverse laparotomies give superior access to the dorsal and right aspects of the liver and cause less pain in patients unfit for regional anesthetic procedures. Draining of the abdominal cavity is used after various resective and reconstructive procedures, but there is little evidence for its use in a number of operations such as gastric, hepatic, and colorectal resections. Advantages and disadvantages of different abdominal wall incisions and drainages are discussed.

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