Find out what a laparotomy is and why you have it to stage ovarian cancer.
A laparotomy is done under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon makes a large cut down the middle of your abdomen so they can examine the inside of your abdomen and pelvis. They take samples of tissue and fluid to check for cancer. Sometimes a pathologist will look at these samples while you are still under anaesthetic.
If cancer cells are found, the surgeon may continue with the operation to remove as much of the cancer as possible. They will only do this part of the operation if you already agreed to this before surgery.