Minilaparotomy for aortoiliac aneurysmal disease: Experience and review of the literature

Shirley J. Fearn, Fabien Thaveau, Ralf Kolvenbach, Yves Marie Dion

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular surgery is evolving, as other specialities, toward minimally invasive techniques. Presently, 3 approaches to aortoiliac disease are suggested as minimally invasive. Besides the endovascular procedures, laparoscopic techniques and minilaparotomy are being advocated. Although for aneurysmal disease, we favor a totally laparoscopic approach, criticisms raised over laparoscopy-assisted techniques by those advocating minilaparotomy led us to investigate the benefits of the latter technique. We first evaluated the procedure in 7 patients with infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We found the procedure impossible to perform with an 8- to 10-cm incision in 6 of the 7 patients. This led us to evaluate causes of failure of the technique. It appeared to us that most of our complications were related to inadequate exposure. Fifty consecutive computed tomography scans from patients with AAA of surgical size were then reviewed to evaluate the aneurysm lengths and compare them to the reported lengths of skin incision for minilaparotomy. Results were expressed adding a total of 2 cm for proximal and distal clamping. Only 2% of patients would present with aneurysms suitable for treatment through an 8-cm midline incision and 30% through a 10-cm incision. We then reviewed the literature on minilaparotomy. We believe that minilaparotomy should be reserved for those patients with purely aortic disease and the appropriate body habitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


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