The term laparotomy literally means open surgery. This type of procedure has been considered the standard of care for many years in staging and treating cancers. It is currently the most common surgical method.
During a laparotomy, the surgeon makes an incision down the middle of the abdomen and attempts to remove as much of the cancer within the abdomen and pelvis as possible. The goal of laparotomy is to accurately diagnose and stage the cancer and gain prognostic information that can determine whether additional therapy is necessary.
Typically, patients require a full 5-6 weeks of recovery time after open surgery. Dr. Ivy primarily reserves open surgeries for advanced stage cancer treatments and treatment of recurrent cancers. If at all possible, he will perform surgery using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques.