Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences



Background: Exploratory laparotomy is a surgical procedure performed in a patient who requires surgery when the actual cause and nature of the disease is not certain. Exploratory laparotomy is usually carried out as an emergency procedure in patients who are acutely ill and require urgent operation for control and stabilization of their disease condition.


Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the common indications for exploratory laparotomy among general surgery patients and to assess their post-operative outcome and complications. Methodology: This is a three-year retrospective study extending from January 2014 to December 2016. All the consecutive general surgery patients who had exploratory laparotomy within the study period were recruited into the survey. Patient's demographics including: age, sex, diagnosis, intra-operative findings, operative procedures, complications and outcomes were extracted and analysed. Analysis was done using the SPSS version 21.0.


Results: A total of 120 exploratory laparotomies were performed out of 1,908 surgical operations conducted within the study period (6.29% of total surgery). The age range was 4 - 85 years with a mean of 40.25±17.23 years and peaks in the 21-30 years and 31-40 years age groups. Seventy-six patients were males and 44 females giving a male to female ratio of 1.73:1. Intestinal obstruction from colonic tumours was the commonest indication constituting 28 (23.3%) followed by complicated appendicitis at 26 (21.6%). Bowel obstruction from post-operative bands, perforated peptic ulcer disease (PPUD) and abdominal trauma accounted for 25 (20.8%), 17 (14.2%) and 16 (13.3%) respectively. A total of 12 patients had complications following surgery representing a complication figure of 10.0%. Mortality rate was 4.2%.


Conclusion: Exploratory laparotomy is still very relevant in general surgery practice. Intestinal obstruction from colonic tumour was the commonest indication in the study. Post-operative complications and mortality rate were relatively low at 10.0% and 4.2% respectively.

Keywords: Laparotomy, Indications, Complications, Mortality.

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  • 4 Jun 2023
    Publication of 3rd edition of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences

    This 3rd Volume of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences is out with a bang. An Orthopaedic article is featured along with original articles from the fields of Ophthalmology and General surgery.

    As is consistent with the policy of the Journal, each published article provides unique valuable clinical and scientific information on the respective subjects presented.

    Future issues of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences would be featuring quality articles from the wider fields of Anaesthesia, Pathology, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), Radiology, Plastic surgery, Neurosurgery and Gynaecology.

    Thanks for your interest in the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences (eISSN: 2971-625X & ISSN: 2734-3138)

  • 2 Dec 2021
    Publication of 2nd edition of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences

    The department of surgery of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, Nigeria is pleased to publish this 2nd edition of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences.


    The foremost aspiration of the editorial team is to publish quality peer reviewed articles that meet international standards at a minimum frequency of once per year in the select specialties and this volume has met that commitment. This volume contains articles of great importance particularly to the Ophthal-mologists and Surgeons.


  • 26 Mar 2020
    Publication of Maiden Edition of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences March 2020 Vol.1, No.1

    The Maiden Edition of the Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences Was Published on Wednesday 25th March 2020.

    Hard Copies are now available at 1,000 per copy (or its USD $ equivalent) payable at site of collection at the Department of Surgery Office, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH) Awka, Nigeria or into the Journal bank account with the following details:

    Bank - Zenith bank; Account Number: 1016472847; Account Name: COOUTH - The Orient Journal of Surgical Sciences.


    The Editorial Board is also calling on all prospective Authors for the submission of new articles towards the 2nd issue scheduled for publication in September 2020.