Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a patient with situs inversus totalis and previous abdominal surgery

A Polychronidis, A Karayiannakis, S Botaitis, S Perente, C Simopoulos
Surgical Endoscopy 2002, 16 (7): 1110
Situs inversus totalis is a rare congenital defect that can present difficulties during laparoscopic surgery due to the mirror-image anatomy. We report a patient with symptomatic cholelithiasis and previous abdominal surgery in whom a chest X-ray revealed a right-sided heart, whereas abdominal ultrasound revealed that his gallbladder was located in the left hypochondrium. At surgery, the surgeon and the camera assistant were standing on the right-hand side of the patient, and the first assistant was standing on the left. The camera was introduced through an umbilical incision, and laparoscopy confirmed the situs inversus. The other 10-mm trocar was placed in the midline left of the falciform ligament and two 5-mm trocars were placed in the left subcostal midclavicular line and anterior axillary line, respectively. After dissection of multiple adhesions caused by previous abdominal surgery, a standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed successfully. This report suggests that situs inversus is not a contraindication for laparoscopic surgery. However, the procedure is more difficult and potentially hazardous due to the mirror-image anatomy (particularly the transposition of biliary ducts) causing difficulties in orientation, so that extreme care is required to avoid iatrogenic injuries. Despite these factors, laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely in patients with situs inversus totalis.

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