Are Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension Associated With an Increased Risk of Bleeding During Laparoscopy? A Retrospective Analysis of 1,000 Consecutive Cases

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Summary:Laparoscopy is a relatively safe invasive procedure. However, the rate of bleeding complications during this procedure is still debatable. Moreover, it is not clear whether portal hypertension may increase the risk of this event. The authors analyzed retrospectively the records of 1,000 consecutive patients with chronic liver disease undergoing laparoscopy and guided direct-vision hepatic biopsy, and they examined the rate of bleeding complications from the trocar site after insertion of the Veress needle or after liver biopsy. A total of 400 of 1,000 patients had liver cirrhosis. Of these, 22.7% had splenomegaly, 13.0% had laparoscopic signs of portal hypertension, and 8.2% had esophageal varices. Bleeding occurred in 0.9% of patients from the trocar site, in 0.2% from the biopsy site, and in 0% from the Veress needle site. These figures were independent of the presence of advanced liver disease, with or without portal hypertension. Bleeding complications occur rarely during laparoscopy with guided liver biopsy and do not seem to be related per se to the presence of liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. If anything, bleeding complications represent an unpredictable event in most cases.

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