Background: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the use of laparoscopy for the diagnosis and treatment for hemodynamically stable patients with abdominal stab wounds. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare the outcomes of 86 hemodynamically stable patients with suspected intra-abdominal injuries from abdominal stab wounds who underwent either exploratory laparotomy or diagnostic laparoscopy. Thirty-eight patients (group A) were treated before the adoption of laparoscopy as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool for abdominal stabbing injuries at our hospital, and 48 patients (group B) were treated after. Demographic information, injury severity, operative findings, rates of nontherapeutic interventions, operation time, length of hospital stay, and morbidity of the two groups were evaluated. Results: There was no difference in the demographics and injury severity between the two groups. Laparoscopy decreased the nontherapeutic laparotomy rate from 57.9% in group A to 0% in group B (P <0.001). The accuracy of diagnostic laparoscopy was 100% in group B. Patients in group B had a significantly shorter hospital stay (5.0 days versus 9.9 days; P <0.001) and shorter operation time (90.7 min vs. 118.7 min; P = 0.019) than group A. For patients in group B with significant intra-abdominal injuries, therapeutic laparoscopy was successfully performed in 16 of 17 patients (94.1%), treating a total of 22 intra-abdominal injuries. Conclusions: Laparoscopy is feasible and safe for the diagnosis and treatment of hemodynamically stable patients with abdominal stab wounds. It can reduce the nontherapeutic laparotomy rate and shorten the length of hospital stay.
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