Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 226 cirrhotic patients. Experience of a single center in Taiwan

C N Yeh, M F Chen, Y Y Jan
Surgical Endoscopy 2002, 16 (11): 1583-7

BACKGROUND: Since 1987, laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has been widely used as the favored treatment for gallbladder lesions. However, cirrhosis and portal hypertension have been considered relative or absolute contraindications to LC. This study aimed to assess the safety of LC in cirrhotic patients.

METHOD: The medical records of 226 cirrhotic patients with gallbladder lesions who had undergone LC from 1991 to 2000 were reviewed, including demographics, severity of cirrhosis, laboratory data, operative morbidity, operative mortality, and hospital stay. Furthermore, the clinical features and outcomes of 4030 patients with gallbladder lesions without cirrhosis that had undergone LC were also summarized for comparison.

RESULTS: Of 4256 patients with gallbladder lesions that had undergone LC, 226 (5.6%) had cirrhotic livers. The cirrhotic group patients clearly exhibited the trends of older age, worse liver function, higher blood loss, and higher mortality compared to the noncirrhotic group patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study presents the clinical features and outcomes of 226 cirrhotic patients who underwent LC. LC, once considered contraindicated in patients with cirrhosis, is a feasible procedure for most Child's A and B patients with cholecystolithiasis. Minor morbidity, an acceptable conversion rate, and shorter hospital stay can be achieved by applying LC to treat cirrhotic patients. However, appropriate preoperative preparations and meticulous operative techniques are required to reduce blood loss during laparoscopy and even mortality.

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