BACKGROUND To present the results of the selective treatment on the penetrating stab wound to the abdomen METHODS From December 1997 to February 200, 175 patients had penetrating stab wound injuries to the abdomen. Of the 175 patients, 61 (34.9%) in Group I were taken to the operating room urgently, 114 (65.1%) in Group 11 were treated selectively. RESULTS It is evident that the rate of unnecessary laparotomies (X2=6.7, p=0.03), morbidity rate (X2=15.4, p<O.OO1), and hospital stay (F=54, p<O.OOO1 ) in the selectively treated group decrease significantly when compared with the non-selective group. CONCLUSION Selective approach to the penetrating stab wounds to the abdomen is a safe method. Furthermore, this method obviates most of the unnecessary laparotomies. For this reason, morbidity rate and hospitalization decrease significantly. Key words: Conservative treatment, unnecessary laparotomy, morbidity, hospital stay.