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Dan Med Bull. 2010 Nov;57(11):A4201.

Cholecystectomy in children.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Denmark.



It is recommended that children with typical clinical signs of biliary colic should be offered surgery if gallstones are present. The aim of this study was to describe a population of children having undergone cholecystectomy.


A retrospective study of all children (aged less than 15 years) who had a cholecystectomy at the Department of Surgery, Odense University Hospital, during a ten-year period (2000-2009).


Thirteen patients (ten girls and three boys) were operated. The median age was nine years and eight months (range: three years and two months to 14 years 11 and months). The indications for cholecystectomy were: recurrent abdominal pain and known gall bladder stones (n = 11), recurrent abdominal pain and thickening of the gall bladder wall as verified by ultrasonography (n = 2). Ten children had no known predisposing factor for development of gallstones. Among the remaining three, one had hereditary spherocytosis, one was obese and one had a bowel resection performed as a newborn because of necrotising enterocolitis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed in nine patients; open cholecystectomy in three and in one, the operation was initiated laparoscopically but converted into an open procedure. There were no postoperative complications. The median postoperative stay was one day (range: 1-7 days). Only one patient underwent subsequent diagnostic work-up for recurrent abdominal pain.


Cholecystectomy is rarely performed in children and when so, it is mostly performed in otherwise healthy children. The surgical techniques deployed and the duration of the postoperative stay are very similar to those observed for adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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