PMID: 1834286Sep 1, 1991Paper

The acute abdomen: the role of laparoscopy

Baillière's Clinical Gastroenterology
S Paterson-Brown

Abstract

The ability to improve surgical decision-making in the acute abdomen using selective laparoscopy is now established. When the decision to operate is uncertain laparoscopy not only identifies those patients who do not require laparotomy, but also reveals those who need surgery which might otherwise have been delayed. Furthermore, the high error rates in diagnosing acute appendicitis in young women provides overwhelming support to the current view that all women with suspected appendicitis should undergo laparoscopy before appendicectomy, irrespective of clinical 'certainty'. Improvements in the management of the acute abdomen can also be achieved by other techniques such as computer-assisted diagnosis (McAdam et al, 1990) and peritoneal cytology (Stewart et al, 1988), and a combination of these with selective laparotomy would be appropriate. Initial patient assessment using a structured proforma would appear to be one of the most significant factors in the improvement of diagnostic accuracy associated with the use of computers (Gunn, 1976), and their combination with a policy of selective laparoscopy has been shown to be beneficial (Paterson-Brown et al, 1989). The ability to detect which patients are likely to benefit from lapa...Continue Reading

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