Section 6.3 – Opening the abdomen

A vertical incision is first made

Transverse incisions are made at the top and bottom ends of the midline incision

This allows the dissector open back the abdominal wall

And expose the underlying contents

When this is completed

The right and left halves of the abdominal wall must be unhinged as fare as possible

This is important in accessing the mesentery later in dissection

After exposing the contents in this manner

The greater omentum can be observed and rotated upwards

To expose the small intestine and associated region of mesentery

After dividing the sternum in the midline

The rib cage can then be divided from the midline laterally

These steps raise a flap of rib cage that can be returned when later closing cavity walls

After exposing abdominal contents all pools of liquid are aspirated

This greatly assists exposure of regions of the mesentery