Second Look Operation

A second surgical procedure in the same site as a previous operation, often abdominal, with the intent of continuing therapy that could not be completed for various reasons during the first operation
General surgery An operation to re-examine questionably viable segments of small intestine 24-48 hours after an initial massive resection for ischaemia, with the hope that enough small intestine—at least 30%—remains viable, thereby circumventing ‘short bowel syndrome’
Gynaecologic oncology A laparotomy for advanced and presumably inoperable ovarian cancer, which was later re-examined to determine whether radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy shrunk the tumour enough to allow debulking surgery, or determine whether said non-surgical therapy may be discontinued or requires modification
Surgical oncology Second-look operations are performed in colons previously resected for adenocarcinoma and monitored by CEA levels; an increase of CEA > 35% above the patient’s established baseline suggests metastastases or recurrence; at operation, less than half are resectable
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