Exploratory laparotomy in the cat

Definition

A exploratory laparotomy is a surgery where the abdomen is opened. It is necessary to do so in many cases, such as:

  • Foreign body removal;
  • Bladder stones removal;
  • Biopsies;
  • Abdominal masses removal;
  • Infected uterus removal;
  • Etc.

Linear foreign body

Cats often swallow linear objects such as strings, ribbons, ropes, etc. One extremity of these objects can wrap itself around the cat's tongue and the other end can reach the bowel.

Because the object is heldback by the tongue, it can't progress in the digestive track and come out with the stools. The object then tightens and can saw through the bowel wall, who continues to try push it out.

The bowel wall gets damaged and, with time, might even tear. The digestive content then leaks in the abdomen, which leads to peritonitis (infection in the abdomen). The animal can die if the condition is not treated.

To remove the foreign body, the abdomen and the bowell needs to be opened at one or more places. If the bowel is deemed to be too sick, it is possible that the whole affected part needs to be removed.