Abdominal emergencies: Diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Laparoscopy has been practiced in the management of emergencies resulting from inflammatory conditions, lumenal obstruction, perforation, vascular occlusion, and trauma. This article identifies and discusses controversial areas in the field, in particular surrounding the efficacy, cost effectiveness, and perceived advantages of laparoscopy in Materials and Methods: Review and commentary on pertinent articles in the English language literature are presented. Results: Prospective randomized trials have been reported in the treatment of some disorders, but a lack of recommendations that are evidence-based has hindered more widespread usage of laparoscopy in an emergency setting. In addition, concerns have been raised that the creation of capnoperitoneum in the patient with established peritonitis may be detrimental with respect to potentiation of bacteremia and severe sepsis, and experimental studies have yielded conflicting data in this regard. Conclusion: As such issues are resolved, utilization of laparoscopy is likely to increase substantially as expertise is acquired. A minimal-access approach carries less morbidity and may offer other practical advantages in terms of surgical technique and application. When surgical intervention is appropriate, laparoscopy is now preferred for acute biliary disease. Female patients of reproductive age with acute appendicitis may benefit, particularly if there is pre-operative diagnostic uncertainty. Selected cases of intestinal obstruction and visceral perforation presenting soon after symptom onset and in whom shock is absent may also be amenable to laparoscopic repair. Its use in the treatment of most trauma patients and patients with generalized peritonitis or hemodynamic instability is not recommended at present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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