Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in cirrhotic patients: the value of MELD score and Child-Pugh classification in predicting outcome

Spiros Delis, Andreas Bakoyiannis, Juan Madariaga, John Bramis, Nikos Tassopoulos, Christos Dervenis
Surgical Endoscopy 2010, 24 (2): 407-12

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a challenging procedure in patients with cirrhosis. This study aims to evaluate the safety and outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with cirrhosis and examines the value of model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and Child-Pugh classification in predicting morbidity.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From January 1995 to July 2008, 220 laparoscopic cholecystectomies were performed in cirrhotic, Child-Pugh class A and B patients. Indications included symptomatic gallbladder disease and cholecystitis. MELD score ranged between 8 and 27. Child-Pugh class and MELD score were preoperatively calculated and associated with postoperative results. Data regarding patients and surgical outcome were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS: No deaths occurred. Postoperative morbidity occurred in 19% of the patients and included hemorrhage, wound complications, and intra-abdominal collections controlled conservatively. Intraoperative difficulty due to liver bed bleeding was experienced in 19 patients. Conversion to open cholecystectomy was necessary in 12 cases. Median operative time was 95 min. Median hospital stay was 4 days. Patients with preoperative MELD score above 13 showed a tendency for higher complication rate postoperatively. Child-Pugh classification did not seem to predict morbidity effectively.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely in selected patients with cirrhosis Child-Pugh A and B and symptomatic cholelithiasis with acceptable morbidity. Some of its advantages are shorter operative time and reduced hospital stay. MELD score seems to predict morbidity more accurately than Child-Pugh classification system.

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