The Role of Laparoscopy in Blunt Abdominal Trauma

ArticleinAnnals of Medicine 28(6):483-9 · January 1997with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.89 · DOI: 10.3109/07853899608999112 · Source: PubMed


    In a collective analysis of 11 reports with a total of 355 blunt abdominal trauma patients, the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic laparoscopy in predicting the eventual need for therapeutic laparotomy were 94% and 98%, respectively, with an overall accuracy of 97%. Although fairly accurate and safe (morbidity rate about 1.2%), the invasiveness, cost and time-consuming nature of diagnostic laparoscopy limit its routine use in trauma patients. It could, however, be useful in selecting patients with minor or nonbleeding injuries for nonoperative management after positive peritoneal lavage or computed tomography, and in excluding occult bowel and diaphragmatic injuries in patients with equivocal findings, thereby reducing the number of unnecessary laparotomies. With the improvement of laparoscopic techniques and instrumentation, more injuries can probably be managed laparoscopically with all the benefits observed with the shift from open to laparoscopic procedures in other patient populations, and it is likely that laparoscopy will find its place as an integral part of evaluating and treating patients with blunt abdominal trauma. At present, however, laparoscopy cannot be recommended as a routine tool for evaluating patients with blunt abdominal trauma, except in controlled clinical trials.