Background and Purpose: The use of laparoscopic surgery has been well established for the management of abdominal emergencies. However, the value of this technique for postoperative hemorrhage in urology has not been characterized. We present our favorable experience with laparoscopic exploration after urologic surgery and suggest guidelines for laparoscopic management of post-laparoscopy bleeding. Patients and Methods: Three patients who developed hemorrhage shortly after laparoscopic urologic surgery and were managed by laparoscopic exploration were identified from a series of 910 laparoscopic urologic procedures performed at our institution from October 2002 to June 2006. Results: Three patients, who were hemodynamically stable (two after robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, one after laparoscopic radical nephrectomy), required prompt surgical exploration for postoperative hemorrhage not stabilized by blood transfusion (mean 2.7 units) at a mean of 19.4 hours after initial surgery. Clots were evacuated with a 10-mm suction-irrigator. Two patients were found to have abdominal-wall arterial bleeding and were managed with suture ligation. The third patient demonstrated diffuse bleeding from the prostatic bed, which was controlled with Surgicel® and FloSeal®. Bleeding was efficiently controlled in all patients, and none required post-exploration transfusion. The mean post-exploration hospital stay was 2.3 days. Conclusion: Significant hemorrhage after urologic laparoscopy is a rare event. We found laparoscopic exploration to be an excellent way to diagnose and correct such hemorrhage in certain patients. Early diagnosis with clinical and hematologic studies, a lowered threshold for surgical exploration, and specific operative equipment may decrease patient morbidity and the need for open surgical exploration.
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