What Is Abdominal Surgery: An Overview

Abdominal surgery refers to the surgical procedures done in a person’s abdominal region to diagnose or treat a medical condition. Abdominal surgery can relieve the symptoms of various abdominal conditions like injury, trauma, or pain caused by a ruptured appendix or to control internal bleeding.

Definition & Overview of Abdominal Surgery

Abdominal surgery can include different techniques depending on the organ that needs an operation, such as the liver, stomach, or kidneys.  Abdominal surgeries are classified into two types: laparotomies and laparoscopic surgeries.

Laparotomies are comparatively major operations that require a large incision on the patient's abdomen and longer recovery time.  In laparoscopic surgeries, the incision made is significantly smaller. Therefore, they produce less scarring, minimal blood loss, less post-operative pain, and faster recovery time.

Who Should Undergo Abdominal Surgery?

Patients who are suffering from diseases that affect the various organs in the abdominal cavity are the ones who are usually prescribed abdominal surgery. You may require abdominal surgery if you have any of the following medical conditions.

  • Appendicitis
  • Fetal death or miscarriage
  • Unexplained symptoms that upset the abdominal cavity
  • Unexplained abdominal bleeding

Most patients with these conditions may experience symptoms such as pain, constipation, diarrhea, and a sudden change in bowel movements. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Before an abdominal surgery, patients are given a surgical gown to wear. All artificial objects, such as contact lenses or dentures, should also be removed before the surgery. Next, the patient's vitals, such as pulse rate, temperature, and blood pressure, are recorded. Vitals have to be monitored continuously throughout the procedure. An IV line is introduced into the patient's vein, and anesthetics are administered before the surgeons begin the process.

Some of the most common abdominal surgical procedures are:

  • Cesarean Section

    This abdominal surgical procedure is also known as C- Section and is performed on pregnant women for childbirth purposes.

  • Inguinal Hernia Surgery

    This is an abdominal surgical procedure performed to repair a hernia in your groin. This surgery is done to repair the weakness in the abdominal wall.

  • Exploratory laparotomy

    This is a surgery performed for diagnostic purposes and aims to find out the source of trauma or bleeding that affects the abdominal organs.

  • Cholecystectomy

    This is one of the familiar abdominal surgeries for removing the gallbladder and is performed using a laparoscope.

  • Appendectomy

    This surgery is performed on patients who suffer from appendicitis. It will remove the patient’s appendix.

What to Expect?

After abdominal surgery, patients might feel slightly weak for the first several weeks. They need to return to the surgeon for removal of the staples used for suturing. Some possible complications to expect after abdominal surgery are pain, bleeding, infection, scar tissue, temporary paralysis of the bowel, and shock.

If you have a medical condition that requires abdominal surgery, visit our surgery center and get the best abdominal treatment in Anchorage.


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Common Surgical Procedures

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