Cesena guidelines: WSES consensus statement on laparoscopic-first approach to general surgery emergencies and abdominal trauma

Giacomo Sermonesi, Brian W.C.A. Tian, Carlo Vallicelli, Fikri M. Abu‑Zidan, Dimitris Damaskos, Michael Denis Kelly, Ari Leppäniemi, Joseph M. Galante, Edward Tan, Andrew W. Kirkpatrick, Vladimir Khokha, Oreste Marco Romeo, Mircea Chirica, Manos Pikoulis, Andrey Litvin, Vishal Girishchandra Shelat, Boris Sakakushev, Imtiaz Wani, Ibrahima Sall, Paola FugazzolaEnrico Cicuttin, Adriana Toro, Francesco Amico, Francesca Dal Mas, Belinda De Simone, Michael Sugrue, Luigi Bonavina, Giampiero Campanelli, Paolo Carcoforo, Lorenzo Cobianchi, Federico Coccolini, Massimo Chiarugi, Isidoro Di Carlo, Salomone Di Saverio, Mauro Podda, Michele Pisano, Massimo Sartelli, Mario Testini, Andreas Fette, Sandro Rizoli, Edoardo Picetti, Dieter Weber, Rifat Latifi, Yoram Kluger, Zsolt Janos Balogh, Walter Biffl, Hans Jeekel, Ian Civil, Andreas Hecker, Luca Ansaloni, Francesca Bravi, Vanni Agnoletti, Solomon Gurmu Beka, Ernest Eugene Moore, Fausto Catena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Laparoscopy is widely adopted across nearly all surgical subspecialties in the elective setting. Initially finding indication in minor abdominal emergencies, it has gradually become the standard approach in the majority of elective general surgery procedures. Despite many technological advances and increasing acceptance, the laparoscopic approach remains underutilized in emergency general surgery and in abdominal trauma. Emergency laparotomy continues to carry a high morbidity and mortality. In recent years, there has been a growing interest from emergency and trauma surgeons in adopting minimally invasive surgery approaches in the acute surgical setting. The present position paper, supported by the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES), aims to provide a review of the literature to reach a consensus on the indications and benefits of a laparoscopic-first approach in patients requiring emergency abdominal surgery for general surgery emergencies or abdominal trauma. Methods: This position paper was developed according to the WSES methodology. A steering committee performed the literature review and drafted the position paper. An international panel of 54 experts then critically revised the manuscript and discussed it in detail, to develop a consensus on a position statement. Results: A total of 323 studies (systematic review and meta-analysis, randomized clinical trial, retrospective comparative cohort studies, case series) have been selected from an initial pool of 7409 studies. Evidence demonstrates several benefits of the laparoscopic approach in stable patients undergoing emergency abdominal surgery for general surgical emergencies or abdominal trauma. The selection of a stable patient seems to be of paramount importance for a safe adoption of a laparoscopic approach. In hemodynamically stable patients, the laparoscopic approach was found to be safe, feasible and effective as a therapeutic tool or helpful to identify further management steps and needs, resulting in improved outcomes, regardless of conversion. Appropriate patient selection, surgeon experience and rigorous minimally invasive surgical training, remain crucial factors to increase the adoption of laparoscopy in emergency general surgery and abdominal trauma. Conclusions: The WSES expert panel suggests laparoscopy as the first approach for stable patients undergoing emergency abdominal surgery for general surgery emergencies and abdominal trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Acute appendicitis
  • Acute care surgery
  • Acute cholecystitis
  • Acute diverticulitis
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Acute peritonitis
  • Adhesive small bowel obstruction
  • Colo–rectal emergencies
  • Emergency general surgery
  • Guidelines
  • Incarcerated/complicated ventral/inguinal hernia
  • Laparoscopic approach
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Minimally invasive surgery/approach
  • Penetrating/blunt abdominal trauma
  • Perforated peptic ulcer
  • Recommendations
  • Trauma surgery hemodynamic stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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