Diagnostic Laparoscopy for Trauma: How Not to Miss Injuries

Modise Z. Koto, Oleh Y. Matsevych*, Colleen Aldous

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) is a well-accepted approach for penetrating abdominal trauma (PAT). However, the steps of procedure and the systematic laparoscopic examination are not clearly defined in the literature. The aim of this study was to clarify the definition of DL in trauma surgery by auditing DL performed for PAT at our institution, and to describe the strategies on how to avoid missed injuries. Methods: The data of patients managed with laparoscopy for PAT from January 2012 to December 2015 were retrospectively analyzed. The details of operative technique and strategies on how to avoid missed injuries were discussed. Results: Out of 250 patients managed with laparoscopy for PAT, 113 (45%) patients underwent DL. Stab wounds sustained 94 (83%) patients. The penetration of the peritoneal cavity or retroperitoneum was documented in 67 (59%) of patients. Organ evisceration was present in 21 (19%) patients. Multiple injuries were present in 22% of cases. The chest was the most common associated injury. Two (1.8%) iatrogenic injuries were recorded. The conversion rate was 1.7% (2/115). The mean length of hospital stay was 4 days. There were no missed injuries. In the therapeutic laparoscopy (TL) group, DL was performed as the initial part and identified all injuries. There were no missed injuries in the TL group. The predetermined sequential steps of DL and the standard systematic examination of intraabdominal organs were described. Conclusions: DL is a feasible and safe procedure. It accurately identifies intraabdominal injuries. The selected use of preoperative imaging, adherence to the predetermined steps of procedure and the standard systematic laparoscopic examination will minimize the rate of missed injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques - Part A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Diagnostic laparoscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Missed injuries
  • Trauma


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