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Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Jul;94(1):94-8.

Major complications of laparoscopy: a follow-up Finnish study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.



To examine recent figures on major laparoscopic complications in Finland.


This was a nationwide record-linkage study from January 1995 through December 1996 including all Finnish hospitals performing gynecologic laparoscopies. Data files of the National Patient Insurance Association and the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register were used. Data were compared with previous results from 1990 to 1994.


Among 32,205 gynecologic laparoscopies, 130 major complications were noted. The total complication rate was 4.0 per 1000 procedures: 0.6 per 1000 in diagnostic laparoscopies, 0.5 per 1000 in sterilization, and 12.6 per 1000 in operative laparoscopies. Intestinal injuries were reported in 0.7 per 1000, incisional hernias in 0.3 per 1000, urinary tract injuries in 2.5 per 1000, major vascular injuries in 0.1 per 1000, and other injuries in 0.5 per 1000 gynecologic laparoscopic procedures. Seventy-five percent (88 of 118) of the major complications in operative laparoscopies occurred during hysterectomies. The total major complication rate decreased from 4.9% in 1993 to 2.3% in 1996 (chi2 = 8.55, P = .003), but the incidence of ureteral injuries remained stable, at about 1% of laparoscopic hysterectomies. Ureteral injuries were most common in local hospitals (2.6%), followed by central (1.1%) and university hospitals (0.9%). From 1990 through 1996, the relative risk for ureteral injury in laparoscopic hysterectomies, compared with other operative laparoscopies was 29.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 13.3, 63.0), for bladder injury 13.0 (95% CI 6.0, 28.2), for intestinal injury 1.3 (95% CI 0.6, 2.5), and for major vascular injury 0.4 (95% CI 0.1, 3.6). Compared with the figures for 1990-1994, all major complications in operative laparoscopies increased, from 0 per 1000 in 1990 to 14.0 per 1000 in 1996 (chi2 = 20.28, P<.001), but part of this increase was due to the increased proportion of laparoscopic hysterectomies.


Laparoscopic hysterectomies are still associated with a stable 1% risk of ureteral injury, whereas other major complications were decreasing until 1996. Complications in other laparoscopic procedures generally are rare.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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