laparoscopy complications

Laparoscopic surgery is generally safer than conventional surgery by laparotomy, but complications can still occur. Approximately 1/3rd of complications take place at the start of laparoscopy when the instruments are being inserted into the abdomen, and 2/3rd during the surgery itself. Possible complications include injury to blood vessels, bowel, bladder, ureter but the overall risk is low, about 0.5% for diagnostic laparoscopy and 1% for operative laparoscopy.

After Magrina JF. Complications of laparoscopic surgery. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002, 45, 469-80.

Intra-operative complications can often be managed laparoscopically without the need to convert the surgery to laparotomy. However, it is also well known that about 1:4 intra-operative complications are not recognised at the time, particularly if it involves bowel or the urinary tract, and this can have serious sequelae.

As result of the above, all patients undergoing laparoscopy have to be prepared to undergo laparotomy if the need arises.