Background: In laparoscopic surgery, the Veress needle technique is most often used to initiate a pneumoperitoneum. Although low, entry-related injuries of the intestines and major vascular structures occur in 0.04–0.1% of cases. Up to 50% of these injuries remain undiagnosed at the time of surgery, resulting in mortality rates between 2.5 and 30%. In an effort to minimize such injuries we objectively assessed a novel abdominal wall entry suction device (AWESD) that was hypothesized to lift the abdominal wall and create an additional post-peritoneum safe margin for safer Veress needle introduction.
Materials and methods: A prospective pilot study was conducted in which CT-scans with and without AWESD application (centered above the umbilicus) were assessed to determine its effect on the distance from the linea alba to the intestines, vena cava and abdominal aorta. Paired measurements were subjected to the Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Results: Twelve participants were included. The AWESD significantly increased the median distance towards the intestines in the axial and sagittal plane (P = 0.01 and P = 0.006) from 0.93 (Inter Quartile Range (IQR): 0.33–1.51) and 0.85 (IQR: 0.32–1.47) to 1.35 (IQR: 0.39–2.27) and 1.25 (IQR: 0.42–2.10) centimeters, respectively. Similarly, for the median axial distances towards the vena cava and abdominal aorta (both P = 0.002) that were increased from 10.00 (IQR: 7.18–11.12) and 9.33 (IQR: 6.55–10.28) to 13.23 (IQR: 11.76–14.31) and 12.49 (IQR: 10.98–13.32) centimeters, respectively.
Conclusion: The AWESD significantly increased the distances between the peritoneum and main intra-abdominal structures. However, conclusions on subsequent increased safety cannot be drawn as high-volume studies are required to determine its clinical relevance.
- Abdominal wall entry suction device
- Intestinal injuries
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Vascular injuries
- Veress needle