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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD004751.

Laparoscopy versus laparotomy for benign ovarian tumours.

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Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Ramiro Barcelos 2300, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 90035-000.

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Over the last ten years laparoscopy has become an increasingly common approach for the surgical removal of benign ovarian tumours. There remains uncertainty as to the value of this intervention. This review has been undertaken to assess the available evidence for the benefits and harms of laparoscopic surgery for benign ovarian tumours compared to laparotomy.


To determine the efficacy, safety and cost of laparoscopic surgery compared with laparotomy in women with ovarian tumours assumed to be benign.


We searched electronic databases, trials registers and reference lists of published trial reports. Review articles were also searched.


All randomised controlled trials comparing laparoscopy versus laparotomy for benign ovarian tumours.


Three reviewers independently assessed each study's eligibility and quality and extracted data.


Six randomised controlled trials were identified involving 324 patients. Three subgroups of ovarian tumours were considered: any histological type of benign ovarian tumour, dermoid cysts and endometriomata. Surgical outcomes: The mean duration of surgery was longer in the laparoscopy group compared to the laparotomy group overall (WMD 11.39; 95% CI 0.57 to 22.22). However, heterogeneity was present with substantial inconsistency (I(2)=87%) . The heterogeneity found in these analyses was likely to reflect differences in the patient populations. Adverse effects of surgery: The pooled estimate for febrile morbidity decreased for laparoscopy compared to laparotomy (Peto OR 0.34; 95% CI 0.13 to 0.88). The odds of any adverse effect of surgery (total number of complications - surgical injury and/or post operative complications) were decreased after laparoscopic procedures (Peto OR 0.26; 95% CI 0.12 to 0.55). Short-term recovery: VAS pain scores favoured laparoscopy (WMD -2.36; 95% CI -2.07 to -2.03) andt he odds of being pain free were significantly greater for the laparoscopy group compared to laparotomy (Peto OR 7.35; 95% CI 4.3 to 12.56). Mean length of hospital stay was shorter in the laparoscopy group with reduction 2.79 days (95% CI -2.95 to -2.62) compared to laparotomy. Economic outcomes: There was a significant reduction of US$1045 (95% CI -1361 to -726.97) in the laparoscopy group compared to the laparotomy group in one trial of women with any type of benign ovarian tumour.


In women undergoing surgery for benign ovarian tumours, laparoscopy is associated with a reduction in the following; febrile morbidity, urinary tract infection, post operative complications, post operative pain, days in hospital and total cost. These findings should be interpreted with caution as only a small number of studies were identified including a total of only 324 women and not all of the important outcomes were reported in each study.

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