Negative laparotomy

The complication rate after a negative or nontherapeutic laparotomy is reported to be substantial but most of this reported morbidity is because of associated injuries and is not related to the abdominal exploration. On the other hand, the morbidity and mortality associated with a delay in taking the injured patient to the operating room is well recognised. A retrospective study attempts to show that when injury severity (using TRISS) is controlled for, negative laparotomy did not significantly increase the complication burden compared with no laparotomy in blunt abdominal trauma patients.

“Never Be Wrong”: The Morbidity of Negative and Delayed Laparotomies After Blunt Trauma
J Trauma. 2010 Dec;69(6):1386-92