Background: Elective laparoscopic surgery is now widely accepted in the treatment of abdominal diseases because of its minimal invasiveness and rapid postoperative recovery. It is also used in the emergency setting for the diagnosis and treatment of acute diffuse peritonitis regardless of the causative disease. However, the value of laparoscopy in acute diffuse peritonitis remains unclear. In this study we aimed to show trends in the use of laparoscopy over time and compare the real-world performance of laparoscopic surgery with that of open surgery for acute diffuse peritonitis due to gastrointestinal perforation. Methods: We extracted data from the National Clinical Database, a nationwide surgery registration system in Japan, for patients with a diagnosis of acute diffuse peritonitis due to gastroduodenal or colorectal perforation between 2016 and 2019. Trends in the use of laparoscopy over time were identified. Patient characteristics, laboratory findings, surgical findings, and postoperative complications were compared between laparoscopic surgery and open surgery. Results: Patients in poor condition and those with abnormal laboratory findings tended to undergo open surgery. Anesthesia time and operating time were longer for laparoscopic surgery in patients with gastroduodenal perforation but shorter in those with colorectal perforation. Fewer complications occurred in patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery. The number of institutions where laparoscopic surgery was performed and the proportion of the use of laparoscopy at each institution increased over time. Conclusion: The use of laparoscopy is becoming common in surgery for acute diffuse peritonitis due to gastrointestinal perforation. This approach may be a useful option for acute diffuse peritonitis.
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