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J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2002 Jun;12(3):193-8.

Effect of timing of surgery, type of inflammation, and sex on outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Princess Basma Teaching Hospital, University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. kiag@go.com.jo



Studies have shown the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for acute cholecystitis (AC). Our aim was to establish the outcome of LC in patients with AC on the basis of duration of the attack before surgery took place, the type of gallbladder inflammation, and patient sex.


All 204 patients at Princess Basma Teaching Hospital who underwent LC for AC by the authors between September 1994 and June 1999, were retrospectively reviewed. They were categorized into Group I, where surgery took place within 72 hours of the acute attack (N = 78; 54 women and 24 men), and Group II, if later than that (N = 126; 70 women and 56 men). Gallbladder pathology was classified as gangrenous, empyema, edematous, mucocele, or AC along with contracted fibrosed gallbladder.


Conversion to open cholecystectomy was needed in 12% of the total series. In Group I, 3.8% of the patients needed conversion compared with 16.7% in Group II patients (P = 0.01). Also, 4% of the female patients needed conversion compared with 24% of the male patients (P = 0.000). There was an association between the pathological type of AC and the likelihood of conversion (P = 0.002), conversion being least common in those with mucocele and most common in those with empyema and gangrene. The median operation time was 75 +/- 36 minutes, but the operation time for Group II patients was significantly longer (P = 0.001) than in Group I patients. Operation time in the male patients was significantly longer than in the female patients (P = 0.000). There was no statistically significant difference in the duration of hospital stay in the two groups or in men and women. There were no deaths or main bile duct injuries in the series. In successful LC, missed stones occurred in 3.3% of the patients. Bile collection, which was treated by open surgery, developed in one female patient.


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a reliable and safe modality for the management of AC. It was not associated with an increased incidence of bile duct injury in this series. It should be the first choice before resorting to open surgery. Factors associated with increased conversion include delay in surgery of more than 3 days from the acute attack and certain pathology, with conversion being more likely in empyema. Conversion also was more likely in male patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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