The Evolution of Nonoperative Management of Abdominal Gunshot Wounds in the United States

Aaron Masjedi, Samer Asmar, Letitia Bible, Muhammad Khurrum, Mohamad Chehab, Lourdes Castanon, Michael Ditillo, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical exploration for gunshot wounds to the abdomen has been a surgical standard for the greater part of the past century. Recently, nonoperative management (NOM) has been deemed as a safe option for abdominal gunshot wounds (AGWs). The aim of this analysis was to review the utilization of NOM and mortality after AGWs. Methods: We performed a 2010-2014 retrospective analysis of the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality and Improvement Program. We included all adult (aged 18 and older) patients with AGWs. NOM was defined as nonsurgical intervention within the first 6 h. Outcome measures were trends of utilization of NOM and mortality. Cochrane-Armitage trend analysis was performed. Results: A total of 808,272 trauma patients were identified, and 16,866 patients with AGWs were included. During the study period, the incidence of AGWs increased, whereas the proportion of bowel injury (P = 0.75) and solid organ injury (P = 0.44) did not change. The NOM rate of AGW increased (2010: 19.5% versus 2014: 27%, P < 0.001). This was accompanied by a decrease in mortality rate (11% versus 9.4%, P = 0.01). Likewise, there was an increase in the use of angiography (7.5% versus 27%, P < 0.001) and laparoscopy (0.9% versus 2.6%, P < 0.001). Overall, 9.8% of the patients had failed NOM. There was no difference in mortality in patients who were managed successfully or failed NOM (5% versus 4.6%, P = 0.45). Conclusions: NOM of AGW is more prevalent and is associated with a decrease in mortality rate. Selective NOM may be practiced safely after AGWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Abdominal gunshot wound
  • Angiography
  • Laparoscopy
  • Nonoperative management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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