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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: analysis of 619 consecutive cases in a Caribbean setting.

INTRODUCTION: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has become the gold standard in the definitive treatment of symptomatic gall bladder disease. It boasts superior morbidity and mortality and lower complication rates than open approaches.

AIM: This study outlines the experiences associated with 619 laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed in Trinidad.

METHODS: The records of 619 consecutive patients who underwent the procedure were reviewed. All cases were either performed or supervised by the senior author. The population comprised 511 females and 108 males. The average age was 48.5 years.

RESULTS: The commonest indications for surgery were symptomatic cholelithiasis (380 cases) and acute cholecystitis (111 cases). The mean operating time was 34 minutes. The mean length of stay on the ward was 17.45 hours. Mortality was zero. Only 4 cases were converted to open procedures. The commonest postoperative complication was wound-infection.

CONCLUSION: In summary, this study demonstrates that laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely in a Third World setting with results comparable to those internationally.

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