Laparoscopy in Abdominal Trauma

  • Selman UranüsEmail author
  • Katrin Dorr
Focus on Laparoscopic and Abdominal Emergencies



The decision in favor of surgery or nonoperative conservative treatment in blunt and penetrating abdominal trauma requires a precise diagnosis that is not always possible with imaging techniques, whereby there is great danger that an injury to the diaphragm or intestines may be overlooked. To avoid such oversights, indications for exploratory laparotomy have traditionally been generous, to the extent that up to 41% of exploratory laparotomies turn out to be nontherapeutic and could be, or could have been, avoided with laparoscopy.

Materials and Methods:

A diagnostic laparoscopy with therapeutic option should only be attempted in stable patients. Three trocars are usually used and the abdomen is explored systematically, beginning with the right upper quadrant and continuing clockwise. Hollow viscus injuries and injuries to the diaphragm and mesentery can be detected and sutured laparoscopically. Injuries to parenchymal organs are not a primary focus of laparoscopy, but with a laparoscopic approach, they usually no longer bleed in stable patients and can be sealed with tissue adhesive and collagen tamponade to prevent re-bleeding.


The routine use of laparoscopy can achieve a sensitivity of 90–100% in abdominal trauma. This can reduce the number of unnecessary laparotomies and the related morbidity.


Laparoscopy can be performed safely and effectively in stable patients with abdominal trauma. The most important advantages are reduction of the nontherapeutic laparotomy rate, morbidity, shortening of hospitalization, and cost-effectiveness. In the future, new developments in and the miniaturization of equipment can be expected to increase the use of minimally invasive techniques in abdominal trauma cases.

Key Words

Laparoscopy Trauma Abdominal trauma Diagnosis of abdominal trauma Therapeutic laparoscopy 


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Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMedical University Graz, Universitätsklinik für ChirurgieGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryMedical University Graz, Universitätsklinik für ChirurgieGrazAustria

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