The role of laparoscopy in patients with abdominal trauma

Pranav K. Sharma, Gaurav Gupta


Background: Use of laparoscopy in penetrating trauma has been well established; however, its application in blunt trauma is gaining popularity as a useful diagnostic tool to avoid unnecessary laparotomies where there is diagnostic dilemma. Even though recent case reports seem to suggest that these patients can be managed using laparoscopy, the practice is not yet wildly adopted.

Methods: All adult patients who presented with abdominal trauma laparoscopic surgery was considered in patients who were deemed fit for the same in the Department of General Surgery, MMIMSR, Mullana, Ambala during a period of 18 months starting from January 1st 2015 to June 30th 2016. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: A total of 53 patients with either blunt or penetrating abdominal trauma that required surgery were included in the study. Exploratory laparotomy was performed in 45 patients (84.91%) and laparoscopy was performed in 8 patients (15.09%). Overall mesenteric injury (45.28%) was the most common intra-abdominal injury noted. The most common organ involved in blunt trauma was the spleen (68.97%). The mean operating time of laparoscopy was lesser by 57 minutes as compared to exploratory laparotomy. The use of laparoscopy avoided negative and non-therapeutic laparotomy in 2 patients (25%). Therapeutic laparoscopy was performed in 3 patients with repair of bowel and mesenteric injuries. There was no documented procedure‑related morbidity and mortality.

Conclusions: The positive outcomes from the study suggest that laparoscopy can be safe and feasible in both diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in carefully selected blunt abdominal trauma patients.


Blunt Trauma, Free Fluid, Laparoscopy, Negative laparotomy, Penetrating Trauma, Therapeutic Laparoscopy

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