Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 930–937 | Cite as

Diagnostic laparoscopy for the acute abdomen and trauma

  • W. Majewski
Original Articles



We set out to investigate the potential benefits of routine diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) in cases of acute abdomen.


A prospective study of 120 DL in acute abdominal cases was performed in comparison with 310 similar acute abdominal cases treated without DL. The diagnostic accuracy, hospital stay, therapeutic delay, and convalescence time were then evaluated.


DL established the indications for intervention in 96% of cases, yielded a diagnosis in 90%, and changed the treatment in 14%. The sensitivity achieved was 99.3%, specificity was 83.3%, and accuracy was 88.6%. There were two false positives, one false negative, and three results insufficient to make a diagnosis. Morbidity was one (0.8%), and mortality was one (0.8%). Seventy-nine patients (66%) were managed by laparoscopy and 24 by open interventions. The hospital stay in DL groups was shorter (median, 5 days vs 6 days in controls, p<0.0003), as was the effective treatment time (median, 5 days vs 6 days, p<0.0012). The convalescence time was also shorter in DL groups (median, 14 days vs 14 days, p<0.04). Therapeutic delay occurred in 16% of the control group cases, doubling the morbidity rate, increasing mortality by 50%, and prolonging hospital stay (median, 9 days vs 6 days, p>0.3 (NS).


DL in the acute abdomen is a safe and accurate procedure that enables laparoscopic interventions and helps avoid nontherapeutic surgery. DL and appropriate treatment reduces hospital stay, therapeutic delay, and convalescence time.

Key words

Diagnostic laparoscopy Acute abdomen Abdominal trauma 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Majewski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Surgery and TransplantationPomeranian Medical UniversitySzczecinPoland

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