We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Intraperitoneal Cavity?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The intraperitoneal (IP) cavity is an area inside the abdomen completely surrounded by the peritoneum, a thin, strong membrane that provides support for abdominal organs. A number of the abdominal viscera are located inside this wrapping. Other structures, like the kidneys and bladder, are on the outside, but may lie adjacent to the peritoneum. Anatomically, it can be important to distinguish between this and other areas of the abdomen for activities like patient assessment, surgeries, and injections.

Digestive organs like the stomach and intestines are located inside the intraperitoneal cavity, along with the liver and spleen. They are supplied with a rich array of blood vessels and connective tissue keeps them anchored in place. Organs including the bladder, kidneys, and reproductive tract are located outside. Anatomically, structures like the kidneys are known as retroperitoneal, because they lie behind the intraperitoneal cavity.

Injuries to the abdominal viscera can result in leaks inside the intraperitoneal cavity, which can contribute to swelling, infection, and inflammation. It’s also possible to tear through the connective tissue and create a link between this space and the rest of the abdomen. Cancers and fistulas can push through the peritoneum and invade surrounding tissues, potentially causing severe complications for the patient. For instance, bladder cancers may burst through the membrane and into the intestines.

In surgery, procedures involving the intraperitoneal cavity require the surgeon to work through an additional layer of connective and protective tissue, and they must take care when closing the wound to avoid injuries to the patient. Adhesions, bands of connective tissue that form where they do not belong, are of particular concern. They can potentially interfere with the abdominal viscera and cause complications after surgery, making it critical to proceed cautiously to minimize scar tissue and reduce risks for the patient. Medical imaging may be recommended after surgery to confirm that the incision site is healing and to check for issues like buildups of fluid that might not be readily apparent from external examinations.

Intraperitoneal injection, or IP injection, is a method of drug delivery used for some medications. Most commonly, it’s employed with small animals, particularly those used in research. IP injection can provide a fast method of delivery for fluids or medications if the patient has no suitable blood vessels. It is also used in some forms of cancer therapy in humans, where the intraperitoneal cavity is actually washed in chemotherapy medications to kill cancer cells and increase the chance of survival.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.