The usual dissection by medical students of the anterior abdominal wall and the inguinal region proceeds from superficial to deep; special emphasis is placed on the sheath of the rectus abdominis muscle and lateral muscular layers. We suggest an alternate approach to dissection of this region that has the following advantages: (1) sparing of delicate deep structures not often fully appreciated by students; (2) provision of an opportunity to visualize the region from a laparoscopic surgeon's vantage point; (3) considerably reduced time spent dissecting and identifying structures and relationships, especially peritoneal reflections important in laparoscopic procedures. Our dissection begins with bilateral subcostal incisions through the entire thickness of the anterior abdominal wall and peritoneum, which extend laterally and inferiorly to the level of the anterior superior iliac spines, thereby forming a large, inverted, U‐shaped flap. This flap is reflected inferiorly, allowing abdominal viscera to be dissected, and ultimately removed en bloc. The flap is then drawn cranially and stretched somewhat to approximate its position when the abdomen is inflated with C02 during laparoscopic procedures. Major land‐marks, including the deep inguinal ring, are noted and the flap is again reflected inferiorly for dissection beginning with the peritoneum and transversalis fascia. This method of dissecting the anterior abdominal wall and inguinal region results in more facile and timely identification of both superficial and deep structures of the anterior abdominal wall and inguinal region, and superficial and deep structures of the anterior abdominal wall and inguinal region, and provides a clinically relevant demonstration of anatomy from a laparoscopic perspective. © 1995 WiIey‐Liss, Inc.
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