Laparoscopic ultrasound enhances diagnostic laparoscopy in the staging of intra-abdominal neoplasms

J M Velasco, H Rossi, T J Hieken, M Fernandez
American Surgeon 2000, 66 (4): 407-11
Routine laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasound (LUS) for staging intra-abdominal malignancies remains controversial. Thus, we undertook a prospective study to assess the value of preoperative laparoscopy with LUS for patients with intra-abdominal tumors judged resectable by preoperative studies. Laparoscopy was successfully performed in 76 of 77 patients, and 60 underwent LUS. Of 33 patients with presumed pancreatic cancer, laparoscopic findings changed the operative management of 11 patients, and LUS altered the management of an additional 6 patients. Laparotomy was avoided in 9 patients (27%). Among 14 patients with hepatobiliary tumors, laparotomy was avoided in 9 patients in whom laparoscopy and/or LUS revealed either benign or advanced disease. Operative management was altered in 4 of 18 patients with gastric or esophageal cancer by laparoscopic findings. LUS did not add to the management of these patients. Of 12 patients with presumed intra-abdominal lymphoma, 9 were diagnosed with lymphoma and 3 with benign disease, without laparotomy in all but 1 case. Laparoscopy and LUS are valuable tools for evaluating the resectability of pancreatic and hepatobiliary tumors. Laparoscopy, and to a lesser degree LUS, greatly facilitates diagnosing patients with intra-abdominal lymphomas and spares an occasional patient with esophagogastric carcinoma from undergoing laparotomy.


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