Diagnostic Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy was utilized as a diagnostic modality for many years. Its potential in the establishment of a definitive diagnosis is well recognized. The use of diagnostic laparoscopy became less popular with the advent of improved radiologic modalities such as computed tomography and ultrasound,” but the limitations of these diagnostic tests are well recognized, and diagnostic laparoscopy has thus undergone a renaissance . Diagnostic laparoscopy can be utilized for cancer staging, biopsy of intraabdominal organ for definitive tissue diagnosis, for diagnosis of abdominal pain with unclear etiology and in trauma patients.

The goals in staging laparoscopy for cancer are to safely establish a definitive tissue diagnosis and to assess resectability and abdominal tumor spread, with the objective of avoiding unnecessary laparotomy. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery for cancer staging have been shown in esophageal, gastric and pancreatic cancers.

Diagnostic laparoscopy has substantial benefits in diagnosis of acute and, or chronic abdominal pain with unclear etiology, especially in female and high risk or critically ill patients to prevent the unnecessary open surgery. Diagnostic laparoscopy is also useful in the evaluation of both blunt and penetrating abdominal trauma.