JOURNAL ARTICLE

Is routine cholecystectomy required during laparoscopic gastric bypass?

Leonardo Villegas, Benjamin Schneider, David Provost, Craig Chang, Daniel Scott, Thomas Sims, Lois Hill, Linda Hynan, Daniel Jones
Obesity Surgery 2004, 14 (2): 206-11
15018749

BACKGROUND: Routine cholecystectomy is often performed at the time of gastric bypass for morbid obesity. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence of gallstone formation requiring cholecystectomy following a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP).

METHODS: 289 LRYGBP were performed between November 1999 and May 2002. 60 patients (21%) who had prior cholecystectomy were excluded. If gallstones were identified by intra-operative ultrasound (IOUS), simultaneous cholecystectomy was performed. Patients without gallstones were prescribed ursodiol for 6 months and scheduled for follow-up with transabdominal ultrasound.

RESULTS: During LRYGBP, gallstones were detected in 40 patients using IOUS (14%) and simultaneous cholecystectomy was performed. Of 189 patients with no stones identified by IOUS, 151 patients (80%) had a postoperative ultrasound after 6 months. 39 patients developed gallstones (22%) and 12 developed sludge (8%), as demonstrated by ultrasound at the time of follow-up. 11 patients had gallstone-related symptoms and subsequently underwent cholecystectomy (7%). 106 patients (70%) were gallstone-free at the time of ultrasound follow-up. Ursodiol compliance was found to be significantly lower for patients developing stones than for gallstone-free patients (38.9% vs 58.3%, z =-2.00, P = 0.045).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a low incidence of symptomatic gallstones requiring cholecystectomy after LRYGBP. Prophylactic ursodiol is protective. Routine IOUS and selective cholecystectomy with close patient follow-up is a rational approach in the era of laparoscopy.

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