Background and aims: Diagnostic laparoscopy is commonly performed for diagnosis of right lower abdominal pain and its use is increasing in the emergency setting. Some studies have reported that diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic appendicectomy have advantages over conventional surgery. Many emergency surgeons now perform diagnostic laparoscopy for both clinically diagnosed appendicitis and when the diagnosis is in doubt. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the use of diagnostic laparoscopy is justified and safe for those admitted with right lower abdominal pain. Methods and results: Data were collected prospectively on consecutive patients attending the acute surgical receiving unit with right iliac fossa pain or a suspected diagnosis of acute appendicitis. A total of 284 patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy. Of them 233 (82%) had a positive finding at laparoscopy, 207 (88%) underwent appendicectomy, the majority of which were carried out laparoscopically. Surgical trainees performed the majority of operations and this did not have a negative impact on operative findings (p 0.856), operation performed (0.642), or operative duration (0.831). No intra-operative complications were sustained. Ultrasound examination was carried out in 49 patients, while CT was carried out in 24. Conclusion: The results of the present study highlight the utility of early diagnostic laparoscopy as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the acute setting.
- Diagnostic laparoscopy
- right iliac fossa pain