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[Postcholecystectomy complaints one year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Results of a prospective study of 253 patients].

AIMS: We studied the nature and frequency of symptoms 1 year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy in order to define pre- and perioperative factors that influence the long-term outcome.

METHOD: Between September 1994 and August 1995 we prospectively evaluated 268 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy using a standard questionnaire. After an average of 16 months (12-25 months) the patients were asked about their symptoms using a similar questionnaire by telephone or were followed up clinically if necessary.

RESULTS: In the long-term follow-up the severity of the symptoms according to the Visick score were: Visick I (no symptoms): 164 patients (65%); Visick II: 72 (28%); Visick III: 12 (5%); Visick IV: 5 (2%). The aetiologies of the postcholecystectomy syndrome were: residual stones 1%, subhepatic liquid formation 0.8%, incisional hernia 0.4%, peptic diseases 4%, wound pain 2.4%, functional disorders 26%. Patients with typical or atypical symptoms preoperatively showed no difference in the outcome 1 year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Neither did the number and location of laparotomies prior to cholecystectomy or the gallbladder perforation or loss of stones intraoperatively influence the severity of the postcholecystectomy symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: One year after laparoscopic cholecystectomy 93% of the patients have no or only minor abdominal symptoms. Neither the number and location of the laparotomies prior to cholecystectomy nor the loss of gallstones intraoperatively have an impact on the long-term result.

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