A laparotomy is a
The term arises from the Greek word λᾰπάρᾱ ("lapara"), meaning "the soft part of the body between the ribs and hip, flank," and the suffix "-tomy" arising from the Greek word "τομή" meaning "a (surgical) cut."
In diagnostic laparotomy (most often referred to as an
In therapeutic laparotomy, a cause has been identified (e.g.
Usually, only exploratory laparotomy is considered a stand-alone surgical operation. When a specific operation is already planned, laparotomy is considered merely the first step of the procedure.