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J Minim Access Surg. 2018 Nov 9. doi: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_145_18. [Epub ahead of print]

Laparoscopic surgery for non-obstetric acute abdomen in pregnancy: A retrospective case series review.

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Department of General Surgery, Seth GS Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



Laparoscopic techniques have been used during pregnancy by obstetricians since the 1970's, primarily to diagnose and treat ectopic and heterotopic pregnancies. Pregnancy was considered as an absolute contraindication to laparoscopy by surgeons as recently as 1991, and a few still doubt the safety of minimal access in gravid patients. When an emergent operation is indicated, the surgery should not be withheld on the sole basis of patient's gravid state. On the contrary, the alleviation of maternal disease is thought to take priority because the health of the foetus is dependant on the mother.

Materials and Methods:

This is a retrospective study of a case series of 18 obstetric patients who presented with non-obstetric causes of acute abdomen requiring surgical intervention. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) along with other laboratory investigations were carried out to reach the diagnosis. Laparoscopic surgery was considered as the modality of treatment. All the patients were given the necessary care post-surgery and were followed up till parturition to look for any complications.


The data were analysed considering the presentation, diagnostic variations and the surgical modifications statistically.


The decision of surgery should be prompt and should be weighed against complications of conserving the patient. Due to the diagnostic limitations of ultrasonography, MRI should be coupled to confirm the diagnosis. Laparoscopy offers less analgesic requirements and shorter hospital stay. The operative time is highly subjective to the experience and training of the surgeon and the laparoscopic set-up itself.


Laparoscopic surgery; non-obstetric acute abdomen; pregnancy

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