Injuries caused by Veress needle insertion for creation of pneumoperitoneum: a systematic literature review
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The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, risks, and outcomes of injuries caused by the Veress needle described in the literature.
Iatrogenic injuries caused by Veress needle insertion during diagnostic or therapeutic laparoscopies in humans were researched, with no language restriction, in the Medline, Lilacs, Embase, Scielo, and Cochrane Library databases. The following words were combined: “Veress” or “insufflation needle” or “pneumoperitoneum needle,” and “complications” or “injuries” or “lesions.” The bibliographic references of the selected articles were also analyzed. We considered the following: (1) number of injuries described in the literature, (2) relationship between number of injuries and number of patients who underwent Veress needle insertion in the studies that reported Veress needle injury, (3) organs and structures injured (retroperitoneal vessels, digestive tract, and self-limited, minor injuries), and (4) outcome (death, conversion to laparotomy, laparoscopic repair, spontaneous resolution).
Thirty-eight selected articles included 696,502 laparoscopies, with 1,575 injuries (0.23%), 126 (8%) of which involved blood vessels or hollow viscera (0.018% of all laparoscopies). Of the 98 vascular injuries, 8 (8.1%) were injuries to major retroperitoneal vessels. There were 34 other reported retroperitoneal injuries, but the authors were not specific as to which vessel was injured. Of the 28 injuries to hollow viscera, 17 were considered major injuries, i.e., 60.7% (0.0024% of the total cases assessed).
The insertion of the Veress needle in the abdominal midline, at the umbilicus, poses serious risk to the life of patients. Therefore, further studies should be conducted to investigate alternative sites for Veress needle insertion.
KeywordsSurgery Complications Pneumoperitoneum Veress needle Puncture Adverse effects Laparoscopy Minimally invasive surgery
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