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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 14;18(46):6850-5. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i46.6850.

Is laparoscopy equal to laparotomy in detecting and treating small bowel injuries in a porcine model?

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Chang Zheng Hospital Affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, China.



To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopy compared with laparotomy for diagnosing and treating small bowel injuries (SBIs) in a porcine model.


Twenty-eight female pigs were anesthetized and laid in the left recumbent position. The SBI model was established by shooting at the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. The pigs were then randomized into either the laparotomy group or the laparoscopy group. All pigs underwent routine exploratory laparotomy or laparoscopy to evaluate the abdominal injuries, particularly the types, sites, and numbers of SBIs. Traditional open surgery or therapeutic laparoscopy was then performed. All pigs were kept alive within the observational period (postoperative 72 h). The postoperative recovery of each pig was carefully observed.


The vital signs of all pigs were stable within 1-2 h after shooting and none of the pigs died from gunshot wounds or SBIs immediately. The SBI model was successfully established in all pigs and definitively diagnosed with single or multiple SBIs either by exploratory laparotomy or laparoscopy. Compared with exploratory laparotomy, laparoscopy took a significantly longer time for diagnosis (41.27 ± 12.04 min vs 27.64 ± 13.32 min, P = 0.02), but the time for therapeutic laparoscopy was similar to that of open surgery. The length of incision was significantly reduced in the laparoscopy group compared with the laparotomy group (5.27 ± 1.86 cm vs 15.73 ± 1.06 cm, P < 0.01). In the final post-mortem examination 72 h after surgery, both laparotomy and laparoscopy offered a definitive diagnosis with no missed injuries. Postoperative complications occurred in four cases (three following laparotomy and one following laparoscopy, P = 0.326). The average recovery period for bowel function, vital appearance, and food re-intake after laparoscopy was 10.36 ± 4.72 h, 14.91 ± 3.14 h, and 15.00 ± 7.11 h, respectively. All of these were significantly shorter than after laparotomy (21.27 ± 10.17 h, P = 0.004; 27.82 ± 9.61 h, P < 0.001; and 24.55 ± 9.72 h, respectively, P = 0.016).


Compared with laparotomy, laparoscopy offers equivalent efficacy for diagnosing and treating SBIs, and reduces postoperative complications as well as recovery period.


Diagnosis; Firearm injury; Laparoscopy; Laparotomy; Penetrating injury; Porcine model; Small bowel injury; Treatment

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