Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the preferred approach in cirrhosis: a nationwide, population-based study

David K Chmielecki, Ellen J Hagopian, Yen-Hong Kuo, Yen-Liang Kuo, John M Davis
HPB: the Official Journal of the International Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association 2012, 14 (12): 848-53

BACKGROUND/AIM: To assess the impact of open versus laparoscopic surgery in cirrhotic patients undergoing a cholecystectomy using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS).

METHODS: All patients with cirrhosis who underwent a cholecystectomy (open or laparoscopic) between 2003 and 2006 were queried from the NIS. Associated complications including infection, transfusion, reoperation, liver failure and mortality were determined.

RESULTS: A total of 3240 patients with cirrhosis underwent a cholecystectomy: 383 patients underwent an open cholecystectomy (OC) whereas 2857 patients underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), which included 412 patients converted (LCC) from a LC to an OC. Post-operative infection was higher in OC as opposed to a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (TLC) or LCC (3.5% versus 0.7% versus 0.2%, P < 0.0001). The need for a blood transfusion was significantly higher in the OC and LCC groups as compared with the TLC group (19.2% versus 14.4% versus 6.2%, P < 0.0001). Reoperation was more frequent after OC or LCC versus TLC (1.5% versus 2.5% versus 0.8%, P = 0.007). In-hospital mortality was higher after OC as compared with TLC and LCC (8.3% versus 1.3% versus 1.4%, P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: Patients with cirrhosis have increased in-hospital morbidity and mortality after an open as opposed to a laparoscopic or conversion to an open cholecystectomy. LC should be the preferred initial approach in cirrhotic patients.

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