A 10-year experience with the use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis: is it safe?


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A 10-year experience with the use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis: is it safe?
Surgical Endoscopy
Suter M., Meyer A.
1432-2218 (Electronic)
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Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
BACKGROUND: In the era of open surgery, emergency open cholecystectomy has been shown for many reasons to be preferred to delayed surgery for acute cholecystitis. Despite the fact that elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has become the gold standard for the treatment of symptomatic gallstone disease, the same procedure remains controversial for the management of acute cholecystitis because it is considered to be associated with more complications and an increased risk of common bile duct injuries than interval LC after resolution of the acute episode. The purpose of this report is to describe our experience with LC for acute cholecystitis during a 10-year period.
METHODS: Patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery have been entered prospectively into a database since 1995. Those who underwent surgery before 1995 were added retrospectively to the same database. Patients were included in this study if they underwent emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy for suspected acute cholecystitis. The diagnosis was based on clinical, laboratory, and echographic examinations. Analysis was performed to identify risk factors associated with conversion or morbidity.
RESULTS: Of the 1,212 patients subjected to LC between 1990 and 1999, 268 (151 women and 117 men), with a mean age of 53 years, underwent surgery on an emergency basis for suspected acute cholecystitis. Their mean age (p = 0.002) and the proportion of men (p < 0.001) were higher than in the elective group. Delay before admission and surgery varied widely, but 72% of the patients underwent surgery within 48 h of admission. An intraoperative cholangiography, attempted in 218 patients, was successful in 207 (95%). Histologic examination confirmed acute cholecystitis in 82% of the patients. Conversion was necessary in 15.6% of the cases. It occurred more frequently in patients who underwent surgery later than 48 (p = 0.03) or 96 h (p = 0.006) after admission. No other predictor of conversion was found. Overall morbidity was 15.3%, and major morbidity was 4.4%. The only risk factor for morbidity was a bilirubin level greater than 20 mmol/l (p = 0.02). Three partial lesions of the common bile duct occurred. All were recognised and repaired immediately with no adverse effect. There was no difference in the overall rate of biliary complications between the patients operated for acute cholecystitis and those who underwent elective surgery. No reoperation was necessary, and there was no mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Although LC is safe and effective for acute cholecystitis, its associated morbidity and conversion rate are higher than for elective LC. The conversion rate decreases with experience. When surgery is performed within 2 or maximally 4 days of admission, in experienced hands, LC represents the treatment of choice for acute cholecystitis. Intraoperative cholangiography should be performed in every case because it helps to clarify the anatomy and allows for early diagnosis and repair of bile duct injuries.
Acute Disease, Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic, Cholecystitis/surgery, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Risk
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18/10/2014 15:32
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20/08/2019 12:36
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