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Tunis Med. 2010 Apr;88(4):277-9.

[Parietal abscess revealing a lost gallstone 8 years after laparoscopic cholecystectomy].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Chirurgie Générale B, Hôpital Charles Nicolle.



Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the treatment of choice for symptomatic gall stone disease. The perforation of the gallbladder happens in 40% of cases. Stones spilled remain there in 20% of cases in view of their number and location. These lost stones can cause adhesions, abscess, peritonitis, digestive fistula or else cutaneous fistula.


to report a new observation of a cutaneous fistula resulting from a gallstone lost during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, eight year later.


A 57-year-old women, underwent 8 years ago laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis. A cholecystectomy was performed without incidence and with uneventful post-operative course. She was admitted to hospital again for an inflammatory painful swelling of the right renal fossa which had been developing for one week without any fever or transit disorder. The abdominal C.T. scan performed revealed a subcutaneous collection of 8 CM. She underwent an excision of the collection with drainage of pus and numerous small stones. She was diagnosed with lost gallstone complicated with cutaneous fistula. The control C.T. scan made 3 months later showed a small collection at the level of the right parieto-colic gutter. She was operated on again, laparoscopy excision of the fistulous tract was performed without showing stones. Healing was achieved two months later. She re-presented 3 months later for a swelling of the old scar which fistulized spontaneously with pus leaking. The abdominal CT scan was normal. She underwent an excision of a collection wish containing a large stone of two centimetres. The patient was regularly seen afterwards at the outpatients' department. She was feeling well 18 months later.


A lost gallstone can cause serious complications. Spillage of gallstones should be avoided. When does occur, every effort should be made to withdraw spilled gallstones and especially to mention the event in the post-operative report.

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