Laparoscopy for Trauma and the Changes in its Use From 1990 to 2016: A Current Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Background:The role of laparoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of stable abdominal trauma patients is still a matter of serious debate and only incomplete data are available.Materials and Methods:We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature between January 1990 and August 2016.Results:Overall, 9817 laparoscopies were performed for abdominal trauma; only 26.2% of the cases were converted to a laparotomy. The incidence of therapeutic laparotomies showed a reduction from 69% to 47.5%, whereas the incidence of therapeutic laparoscopies increased from 7.2% to 22.7%.The overall perioperative mortality rate was significantly lower in the laparoscopy group [odds ratio (M-H, random); 95% confidence interval, 0.35 (0.26-0.48)]. The same group showed shorter length of hospital stay [odds ratio (M-H, random); 95% confidence interval, −3.48 (−8.91 to 1.96)].Conclusions:This systematic review shows a significant decrease in the use of laparoscopy in trauma patients. Most likely the widespread use of imaging techniques allows a more accurate selection of patients for diagnostic laparoscopy. Infact, a reduction in incidence of nontherapeutic laparotomies is evident in these selected patients undergoing diagnostic laparoscopy. Moreover, the literature reported an increasing trend of therapeutic laparoscopy, demonstrating that it is safe and effective. The small number and poor quality of the studies identified, the retrospective observational nature of the studies (low level of evidence), the high risk of bias, and the high heterogeneity of some outcomes make the applicability of the results of this meta-analysis unclear.

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