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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2004 December;59(6):589-96

language: Italian

Laparoscopic surgery: from clinic to legal medicine

Chisari M. G., Finocchiaro A., Lo Menzo E., Rosato V., Basile G.


The laparoscopic technique introduced a new way of operating but inevitably causing new problems for the surgeon. After a comprehensive review of the history and the evolution of laparoscopic surgery from its beginning, the technical aspects of minimally invasive surgery and its fields of application are described. The close dependence on instruments and technology is emphasized. A detailed analysis of the advantages and limitations of laparoscopy is made with emphasis on the importance of a risk-benefit evaluation by the health care provider. Of key importance is to obtain a detailed and clear informed consent. The medico legal aspects of intraoperative complications and the liability of the surgical team in case of patients' injury or death are examined. However, it is always necessary to consider if the potential complications are predictable and/or preventable in accordance to the parameters of negligence, imprudence and lack of knowledge. The same criteria have to be applied to assure compliance with the preventive sanitary rules and that the conversion to laparotomy has been promptly carried out.

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