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Consequences of the spilled gallstones during laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a systematic review.

INTRODUCTION: Complications secondary to spilled gallstones can be classified in the category of disease of medical progress because prior to advent of laparoscopic cholecystectomy very few reports published on the topic. The aim of the present study was to investigate the predisposing factors and the complication rate of spilled gallstones during laparoscopic cholecystectomy over the past 21 years.

METHODS: Embase, Pubmed, Medline, Google scholar and Cochrane library were systematically searched for pertinent literature.

RESULTS: Seventy five out of 181 articles were selected including 85 patients; of those 38% were men and 62% women. The median age of the cohort was 64 years old and ranged between 33 and 87 years. Only 23(27%) of the authors reported the incident of spillage of the gallstones during the operation. Time of onset of symptoms varied widely from the second postoperative day to 15 years later. Ten of 85 patients were asymptomatic and diagnosed with spilled gallstones incidentally. The rest of the patients presented with complications of severe morbidity and almost, 87% of the patients needed to be treated with surgical intervention and 12% with US ± CT scan guidance drainage. Only one perioperative death reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic patients with lost gallstones present with severe morbidity complications and required mostly major surgical procedures. Therefore, standardisation of the management of spilled gallstones is needed urgently. Hospitals need to review their policy with audits and recommendations and clinical guidelines are needed urgently.

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