Negative laparotomy in abdominal gunshot wounds: Potential impact of laparoscopy

J. L. Sosa, M. Baker, I. Puente, D. Sims, D. Sleeman, E. Ginzburg, L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the morbidity and hospital stay resultant from negative exploratory laparotomy (NL) for abdominal gunshot wounds (ABGSWs) and the potential impact the use of diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) could have on these variables. Design: A retrospective study was conducted. Materials and Methods: The charts of all patients with ABG-SWs over a 4-year period were reviewed. Data was collected on injuries, rate of NL, morbidity and hospital stay. This was compared to a subsequent group of patients with ABGSWs managed with a DL protocol. Measurements and Main Results: Over a 4-year period, 817 patients had exploratory laparotomy (EL) for ABGSWs. The NL rate was 12.4% (101 of 817); 69 of these patients had no associated injury or other procedures. They had a 22% morbidity and an average hospital stay of 5.1 days. Subsequently, 85 patients with ABGSWs underwent DL. This group was similar to the EL group and would have undergone EL prior to the introduction of DL at our institution. In this group, 34 patients had no associated injury or other procedures. They had a 3% morbidity, and their average hospital stay was 1.4 days. The morbidity and hospital stay were statistically significantly reduced (p < 0.01) in patients with negative DL versus NL. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that NL is associated with a high morbidity and long hospital stay. The use of DL can reduce the rate of NL, and result in lower morbidity and shorter hospital stay in patients with ABGSWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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