Between 1970 and 1983, we performed 1121 diagnostic laparoscopies in 1119 patients. More than 50% of the examinations were performed for malignant disease. An adequate examination was accomplished in 917 (82%) procedures. The most frequent reason for inadequate evaluation was the presence of dense intraabdominal adhesions from previous surgery. We observed 105 (9.4%) minor complications and 20 (1.8%) major complications including one death following hemorrhage from liver biopsy. Major complications included abdominal wall hematoma, perforated abdominal viscus, hemoperitoneum, bleeding from liver biopsy, and respiratory depression. We observed a trend to decreased use of laparoscopy. Ascites of unknown origin and certain specific situations in patients with chronic liver disease remain as major indications for this diagnostic technique.
- gastroenterologic laparoscopy
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