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Analysis of symptomatic patients after cholecystectomy: is the term post-cholecystectomy syndrome an anachronism?

Of 171 patients who were followed-up prospectively for 2.8 years after cholecystectomy, 31 developed postcholecystectomy symptoms, 24 of them being mild to moderate and 7 severe. Symptomatic patients mostly had functioning gall bladders preoperatively and longer duration of symptoms prior to cholecystectomy. The causes of postcholecystectomy symptoms could be identified in all of them except 9 patients who were labelled as having "essential dyspepsia". The symptoms in the latter syndrome as well as in other conditions diagnosed in the symptomatic postcholecystectomy patients appeared unrelated to the absence of gallbladder. Hence, we feel the term postcholecystectomy syndrome is an anachronism and should be redefined.

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