Background. Laparoscopy is ever more common in both elective and emergency surgery. In fact, in abdominal emergencies it enables the resolution of preoperative diagnostic doubts as well as treatment of the underlying disease. We present a retrospective study of the results of a 5-year experience at a single center.
Patients and methods. Between September 2006 and August 2011, 961 patients were treated via laparoscopy, including 486 emergency cases (15 gastroduodenal perforation; 165 acute cholecystitis; 255 acute appendicitis; 15 pelvic inflammatory disease and non-specific abdominal pain [NSAP]; 36 small bowel obstruction). All procedures were conducted by a team trained in laparoscopic surgery.
Results. The conversion rate was 22/486 patients (4.53%). A definitive laparoscopic diagnosis was possible in over 96% of cases, and definitive treatment via laparoscopy was possible in most of these.
Conclusions Our own experience confirms the literature evidence that laparoscopy is a valid option in the surgical treatment of abdominal emergencies. In any case, it must be performed by a dedicated and highly experienced team. Correct patient selection is also important, to enable the most suitable approach for each given situation.