The Role of Laparoscopy in Penetrating Abdominal Trauma: Our Initial Experience

Modise Z. Koto, Oleh Y. Matsevych*, Sooraj R. Motilall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopy is a known approach in managing patients with penetrating abdominal trauma (PAT). However, multiple controversies exist on indications, contraindications, and its appropriateness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness of diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopy in patients with PAT at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective, observational study. All patients with PAT managed by diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopy during 2012-2013 were included. Recorded indications and contraindications, the mechanism of injury, the anatomical location of injury, intraoperative findings, reasons for conversion, and adverse outcomes (complications, reoperations and mortality) were analyzed in every case. Results: One hundred fourteen patients were included. Stab injuries were sustained by 81 (71%) patients, and 33 (29%) patients sustained gunshot wounds (GSW) to the abdomen. The conversion rate was 7%. The operation was completed laparoscopically in 106 patients: 79 with stab wounds (74.5%) and 27 with GSW (25.5%). Laparoscopy was diagnostic for 44 patients (41.5%) and therapeutic for 62 patients (58.5%). In total, 13 patients (12%) required re-intervention, and 2 patients died (1.9%). The complications were not specific to the laparoscopic approach. No missed injuries were reported in the study. Conclusions: Diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopy in patients with PAT is an appropriate management in hemodynamically stable patients or those responsive to initial resuscitation. The location of injuries is not a limiting factor, although it affects placement of ports. The conversion is not a complication but rather the correct way of completing the operation in an appropriate situation. It should be considered in patients with extensive intraabdominal bleeding suggesting the possibility of major vessel injury, a significant deterioration of the patient, and the complexity of injuries requiring a prolonged laparoscopic procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-736
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques - Part A
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


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