Laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy in cirrhosis: a systematic review of outcomes and meta-analysis of randomized trials

Jerome M Laurence, Peter D Tran, Arthur J Richardson, Henry C C Pleass, Vincent W T Lam
HPB: the Official Journal of the International Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association 2012, 14 (3): 153-61

BACKGROUND: Cholecystectomy is associated with increased risks in patients with cirrhosis. The well-established advantages of laparoscopic surgery may be offset by the increased risk for complications relating particularly to portal hypertension and coagulopathy.

METHODS: A systematic search was undertaken to identify studies comparing open cholecystectomy (OC) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) in patients with cirrhosis. A meta-analysis was performed of the available randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

RESULTS: Forty-four studies were analysed. These included a total of 2005 patients with cirrhosis who underwent laparoscopic (n= 1756) or open (n= 249) cholecystectomy, with mortality rates of 0.74% and 2.00%, respectively. A meta-analysis of three RCTs involving a total of 220 patients was conducted. There was a reduction in the overall incidences of postoperative complications and infectious complications and a shorter length of hospital stay in LC. However, frequencies of postoperative hepatic insufficiency did not differ significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: There are few RCTs comparing OC and LC in patients with cirrhosis. These studies are small, heterogeneous in design and include almost exclusively patients with Child-Pugh class A and B disease. However, LC appears to be associated with shorter operative time, reduced complication rates and reduced length of hospital stay.

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