Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in cirrhotic patients

Abdul Razaque Shaikh, Ambreen Muneer
JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons 2009, 13 (4): 592-6

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Gallstones are twice as common in cirrhotic patients as in the general population. Although laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has become the gold standard for symptomatic gallstones, cirrhosis has been considered an absolute or relative contraindication. Many authors have reported on the safety of LC in cirrhotic patients. We reviewed our patients retrospectively and assessed the safety of LC in cirrhotic patients at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan.

METHODS: From January 2003 to December 2005, a retrospective study was conducted at SU IV, Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jamshoro. All the cirrhotic patients with Child-Pugh class A and B cirrhosis undergoing LC were included in the study. Cirrhosis was diagnosed based on clinical, biochemical, ultrasonography, and intraoperative findings of the nodular liver and histopathological study.

RESULTS: Of 250 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 20 (12.5%) were cirrhotic. Of these 20, 12 (60%) were Childs group A and 8 (40%) were group B. Thirty percent were hepatitis B positive, and 70% were hepatitis C positive. Preoperative diagnosis of cirrhosis was possible in 80% of cases, and 20% were diagnosed during surgery. Morbidity rate was 15% and mortality rate was 0%. Two patients developed postoperative ascites, and mean hospital stay was 2.8+/-0.1 days. Of the 20 cases, 2 (10%) were converted to open cholecystectomy. The mean operation time was 70.2+/-32.54 minutes.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an effective and safe treatment for symptomatic gallstone disease in select patients with Child-Pugh A and B cirrhosis. The advantages over open cholecystectomy are the lower morbidity rate and reduced hospital stay.

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