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Br J Surg. 2005 Oct;92(10):1195-207.

Systematic review comparing laparoscopic and open repair for perforated peptic ulcer.

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Clinic of General and Plastic surgery, Orthopaedics and Trauma surgery, General Surgery Centre, Vilnius University Emergency Hospital, 29 Siltnamiu Street, LT-04130, Vilnius, Lithuania.



The advantages of laparoscopic over open repair for perforated peptic ulcer are not as obvious as they may seem. This paper summarizes the published trials comparing the two approaches.


Two randomized prospective, five non-randomized prospective and eight retrospective studies were included in the analysis. Relevant trials were identified from the Medline/Pubmed database and the reference lists of the retrieved papers were then analysed. The outcome measures used were operating time, postoperative analgesic requirements, length of hospital stay, return to normal diet and usual activities, and complication and mortality rates. Published data were tested for heterogeneity by means of a chi2 test. Meta-analysis methods were used to measure the pooled estimate of the effect size. In total, 1113 patients are represented from 15 selected studies, of whom 535 were treated by laparoscopic repair and 578 by open repair; 102 patients (19.1 per cent) underwent conversion to open repair.


Statistically significant findings in favour of laparoscopic repair were less analgesic use, shorter hospital stay, less wound infection and lower mortality rate. Shorter operating time and less suture-site leakage were advantages of open repair. Three variables (hospital stay, operating time and analgesic use) were significantly heterogeneous in the papers analysed.


Laparoscopic repair seems better than open repair for low-risk patients. However, limited knowledge about its benefits and risks compared with open repair suggests that the latter, more familiar, approach may be more appropriate in high-risk patients. Further studies are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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