Research Article

Managing gynaecological emergencies with laparoscopy.

BMJ 1989; 299 doi: (Published 05 August 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;299:371
  1. A. L. Magos,
  2. R. Baumann,
  3. A. C. Turnbull
  1. Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington.


    A consecutive series of 49 women (50 procedures), whose conditions were haemodynamically stable, presenting with acute lower abdominal pain, pelvic tenderness, and either a urine concentration of greater than 50 U/l beta human chorionic gonadotrophin or a pelvic mass shown by ultrasonography were treated with operative laparoscopy under video monitoring (videopelviscopy) as an alternative to laparotomy. Ectopic pregnancy, ovarian and non-ovarian cysts, pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, and fibroids were found, for which salpingotomy, salpingectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, cystectomy, adhesiolysis, thermocoagulation, and myomectomy were carried out by laparoscopy. In one patient pelviscopy was repeated because of persistent tubal pregnancy after the fimbria was expressed. Laparotomies were carried out on three patients because treatment was not possible by laparoscopy and on a further patient two days after adhesiolysis had been attempted. These were the only serious complications. For the 46 cases (45 patients) in which operative laparoscopy was successful the mean stay in hospital was 1.9 days after operation, and this group of patients returned to normal activities and to work after an average of 2.3 and 2.6 weeks respectively. Most gynaecological emergencies that are managed by laparotomy can be treated by laparoscopy and benefit both patients and the health service.