The Value of Laparoscopy in Management of Abdominal Trauma

Chelly, Marjorie R.; Major, Kevin; Spivak, Jacob; Hui, Thomas; Hiatt, Jonathan R.; Margulies, Daniel R.
November 2003
American Surgeon;Nov2003, Vol. 69 Issue 11, p957
Academic Journal
The role of laparoscopy (LS) in abdominal trauma is controversial. Concerns remain regarding missed injuries and safety. Our objective for this study was to determine the safety and better define the role of LS in abdominal trauma victims. We performed a retrospective review of all patients who sustained abdominal trauma and underwent LS in a level I trauma center. The main outcome measures were age, gender, mechanism of injury (MOI), indication for laparoscopy, presence of intra-abdominal injury (IA), therapeutic laparoscopy (TxLS), need for laparotomy, length of hospital stay (LOS), missed injuries, complications, and deaths. Forty-eight patients underwent LS (62 per cent male; average age, 28 years; MOI, 35 (85%) penetrating, 7 (15%) blunt; mean ISS, 8). At laparoscopy, 58 per cent of patients had no intra-abdominal injury. IA injury was treated with laparotomy in 14 (29%) and TxLS in 6 (13%). One patient had a negative laparotomy (2%). No injuries were missed. No patients required reoperation. There was one complication: a pneumothorax. There were no deaths. LS was most valuable in penetrating trauma, avoiding laparotomy in more than two-thirds of patients with suspected intra-abdominal injury. LS can serve as a useful adjunct for the evaluation of blunt trauma. In a level I trauma center with LS readily available, the procedure is associated with a low rate of complications and missed injury.


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