JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Primary access-related complications with laparoscopy: comparison of blind and open techniques.

Surgical Endoscopy 2005 September
BACKGROUND: Severe or fatal complications attributable to gas embolus, major vascular injury, or visceral injury are rare but have been reported after blind access to the abdominal cavity in laparoscopy. The open access technique has been introduced with the aim to reduce these injuries. This report evaluates access-related complications with both blind and open access techniques in a teaching hospital using standardized techniques for both methods.

METHODS: Two groups of patients at different times from a prospective database were compared. A retrospective analysis of 2,297 patients treated using blind access between 1992 and 1996 were compared with 2,066 patients treated using open step-by-step access between 1999 and 2001 regarding access-related complications. An accreditation program for both techniques was mandatory for the 67 surgeons involved.

RESULTS: No case of gas embolus or major vascular injury was seen in either group. Four cases of visceral injuries (0.17%) in the blind access group and one case (0.05%) in the open group were seen (p = 0.337). All the injuries were recognized and repaired intraoperatively with no further postoperative complications.

CONCLUSION: Our educational efforts to make both techniques as safe as possible were successful, as evidenced by a minimum of access-related complications. Because no evidence exists to show that the blind access technique is superior in any aspect, the open technique is recommended for access to the abdominal cavity in laparoscopy.

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