Diagnostic Laparoscopy in Abdominal Emergencies

  • Ferdinando Agresta
  • Antonello Mirabella
  • Natalino Bedin
  • Vincenzo Mandalà
Part of the Updates in Surgery book series (UPDATESSURG)


Acute emergency situations often pose a diagnostic challenge to the general surgeon. The diagnosis is important due to the different pathologic conditions that might be responsible for the acute situation and therefore important for planning the correct abdominal incision or avoiding an unnecessary laparotomy. There are several noninvasive diagnostic procedures — such as ultrasonography and CT scanning — which can be performed along with plain film radiography on patients with an acute abdomen to aid the surgeon in establishing a preoperative diagnosis [1–12]. In experienced hands, which are not always available around the clock in every hospital setting, the results of these methods are quite good, but in general practice they are not completely accurate and conclusive (partly due to the patients’ physical limitations, e.g. obesity or massive bowel distension, and partly because, as already stated, they are dependent on operator skills) and they might be time-consuming and expensive (such as CT scanning) [13–15]. Another factor to keep in mind is that nowadays the mean patient age is increasing and, as a consequence, there is an increasing possibility of being confronted with emergency abdominal situations in the elderly with many co-morbidities which complicate not only the therapeutic strategy but the diagnostic approach as well.


Acute Appendicitis Small Bowel Obstruction Acute Abdomen Diagnostic Laparoscopy Mesenteric Ischemia 


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Suggested Readings

  1. Sauerland S, Agresta F, Bergamaschi R, Borzellino G, Budzynski A, Champault G, Fingerhut A, Isla A, Johansson M, Lundorff P (2006) Laparoscopy for abdominal emergencies. Evidencebased guidelines of the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery. Surg Endosc 20:14–29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agresta F, Ansaloni L, Baiocchi L, Bergamini C, Campanile FB, Carlucci M, Cocorullo G, Corradi A, Franzato B, Lupo M, Mandalà V, Mirabella A, Pernazza G, Piccoli M, Staudacher C, Vettoretto N, Zago M, Lettieri E, Levati A, Pietrini D, Scaglione M, De Masi S, De Placido G, Francucci M, Rasi M, Scaramuzza G, Del Favero AL (2011) Consensus Development Conference of the Società Italiana Chirurgia Endoscopica e nuove tecnologie (SICE); Associazione Chirurghi Ospedalieri Italiani (ACOI); Società Italiana di Chirurgia (SIC); Società Italiana Chirurgia d’Urgenza e Trauma (SICUT), Società Italiana Chirurghi dell’Ospedalità Privata (SICOP) and the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES). In pressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferdinando Agresta
    • 1
  • Antonello Mirabella
  • Natalino Bedin
  • Vincenzo Mandalà
  1. 1.Azienda ULSS 19 di Adria UOC di Chirurgia GeneralePresidio Ospedaliero di AdriaAdria (RO)Italy

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