[Iatrogenic perforation of the gallbladder during laparoscopic cholecystectomy does not influence the prognosis. Prospective study]

C Barrat, A Champault, L Matthyssens, G Champault
Annales de Chirurgie 2004, 129 (1): 25-9

BACKGROUND: Perforation of the gallbladder and spillage of gallstones frequently occur in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. As stones may be lost and as spilled bile is known to be contaminated, influence on morbidity may be expected.

AIMS: To evaluate the immediate and late consequences on morbidity of peroperative gallbladder perforation during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in an universitary hospital center.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and twenty one LC were prospectively evaluated with a mean follow-up of 30 months. Elective operations on 30 men and 91 women with a mean age of 56.4 years (18-85) were carried out for symptomatic cholecystolithiasis in 97 cases (80%), and in 24 cases for complicated cholecystolithiasis. The "french technique" was used for all LC, with systematic intra-operative cholangiography and ultra Sonography. Thirty-seven (30.5%) LC were performed by surgical trainees, 84 LC by confirmed surgeons. The consequences of ultra-operative gallbladder perforation were evaluated in the immediate postoperative period, especially for septic complications, and thereafter, patients were followed up 1, 6, 12 and 24 months postoperatively.

RESULTS: Ultra-operative gallbladder perforation occurred in 24 cases (20%), in 83.3% during gallbladder dissection. Gallstone spillage occurred six times, and all spilled stones were removed. Gallbladder perforation was more frequent (but non significant) in acute cholecystitis (25 vs 19%, ns). A clear correlation to the skill and experience of the surgeon is shown (32.4 vs 14.2%, P =0.01). Gallbladder perforation is accompanied by an elevated (nonsignificant) postoperative morbidity (16.6 vs 7.2%, P =0.62) which is, in fact related to older patient and more acute cholecystitis in this group. No reoperations were necessary. One and two years follow-up revealed no long-term complications specially due to lost gallstones.

CONCLUSION: Peroperative gallbladder perforation during LC carries no morbidity, provided a total and complete recuperation of gallstones spilled and local treatment of bile contamination with local irrigation and antibiotics. This complication is correlated to the surgeon's skill and experience.

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