Emergency abdominal surgery

Emergency abdominal surgery

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Credit: DR BARRY SLAVEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Emergency abdominal surgery. Surgical team performing an emergency procedure in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital. Here, they are reopening the abdomen of a patient with abdominal compartment syndrome following surgery. Abdominal compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the abdomen increases. This can be due to sepsis and severe abdominal trauma (as here). The increased pressure reduces blood pressure to the abdominal organs, impairing lung, cardiovascular, kidney and gastrointestinal function. If left untreated it will lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and ultimately death. Here, the procedure is being carried out in the ICU as the patient is too unstable to move to the operating theatre.

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