After your surgery, chemotherapy and other treatments, your oncologist may recommend second-look surgery. This procedure will help determine if your body has responded successfully to treatment. If cancer is found, it can be treated or removed during the surgery.

Second-look surgery may be done within hours, days, weeks, or months of the treatment. The time interval depends on many factors including your condition and the type of second-look procedure.

Second-look laparotomy

Your medical team may perform a second look-laparotomy. A laparotomy is a large incision through the abdominal wall that allows the surgeon to examine abdominal structures. Your surgeon may do another "washing" of the abdominal cavity. A sterile fluid is washed around the organs and extracted with a syringe. The fluid is sent to the lab to be analyzed for the presence of cancerous cells. Your surgeon may also take biopsies of various abdominal tissues and analyze them.

Second-look laparoscopy

Minimally invasive surgeries can be performed on a second-look basis. During a second-look laparoscopy, a thin-lighted tube with a camera attached is inserted into the abdominal cavity through a tiny incision. Images are taken viewed on a video monitor. Your surgeon can examine the abdominal cavity. Small growths can be removed using tools inserted through other small incisions in the abdominal wall. After the procedure is completed, any incisions are closed with stitches.