Introduction: This paper analyses the emergency laparoscopic procedures undertaken by our unit over a 1-year period in an effort to evaluate the diagnostic-therapeutic use of laparoscopy in an emergency situation.Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study that analysed 137 emergency laparoscopic procedures that were performed for patients who presented with acute abdominal pain over a 1-year period from 31 December 1999 to 31 December 2000. Results: A definitive diagnosis was made in 91.2% (125). Of the 78 cases that required surgical intervention, 71.8% (56) were performed laparoscopically. The conversion rate (to open surgery) was 16.8% (23) and the morbidity rate was 8% (11); with no mortalities. Conclusion: We conclude that laparoscopic surgery is effective and safe in the non-elective setting and it offers a high potential for diagnosis and therapy in selected patients in whom the diagnoses are equivocal.
Today, laparoscopic surgery has achieved widespread acceptance among surgeons as well as the general public. Emergency laparoscopic procedures (ELPs) have been performed since the 1960s and with increasing experience, the benefits of laparoscopic surgery are being applied to non-elective situations.
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