, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2073-2077
Date: 09 Apr 2009

The role of diagnostic laparoscopy for chronic abdominal conditions: an evidence-based review

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Abstract

Background

Diagnostic laparoscopy is minimally invasive surgery for the diagnosis of intraabdominal diseases. The aim of this review is a critical examination of the available literature on the role of laparoscopy for chronic intraabdominal conditions.

Methods

A systematic literature search of English-language articles on MEDLINE, the Cochrane database of evidence-based reviews, and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects was performed for the period 1995–2006. The level of evidence in the identified articles was graded. The search identified and reviewed six main categories that have received attention in the literature: pelvic pain and endometriosis, primary and secondary infertility, nonpalpable testis, and liver disease.

Results

The indications, contraindications, risks, benefits, diagnostic accuracy of the procedure, and its associated morbidity are discussed.

Conclusions

The limitations of the available literature are highlighted, and evidence-based recommendations for the use of laparoscopy to stage intraabdominal cancers are provided.