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any operation that involves an incision into the abdomen. In preparation for surgery, laboratory, radiographic, and cardiac tests and consultations may be done. Immediately before surgery, body hair is clipped, and skin is cleansed from the nipples to the pubis. Food and fluids by mouth are withheld for up to 6 hours or more before surgery. After surgery, the nurse ensures that the airway is patent and vital signs are stable, checks tubes and catheters, connects drainage tubes to collection containers, checks the dressing for excessive bleeding or drainage, and records fluid intake and output. The patient is turned and is helped to breathe deeply every hour and, if secretions are present, to cough. Medication is given as needed for pain relief. Some kinds of abdominal surgery are appendectomy, cholecystectomy, gastrectomy, herniorrhaphy, and laparotomy. See also acute abdomen.
abdominal surgeryAny operative procedure in which the abdominal cavity is opened, and a surgeon excises or repairs damaged, redundant or malignant tissue.
Most common procedures
Inguinal hernia repair, exploratory laparotomy, appendectomy, laparoscopy (often with a cholecystectomy or other –ectomy).
Excessive bleeding, wound infection, incisional hernia, recurrent gastric ulcer, chronic diarrhoea, malnutrition; pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding in the surgical area; headache, muscle aches, dizziness or fever; increased abdominal pain or swelling, constipation, nausea or vomiting; rectal bleeding or black, tarry stools.