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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 1;8:CD006804. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006804.pub3.

Miniports versus standard ports for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Royal Free Campus, UCL Medical School, Royal Free Hospital,, Rowland Hill Street, London, UK, NW3 2PF.



In conventional (standard) port laparoscopic cholecystectomy, four abdominal ports (two of 10 mm diameter and two of 5 mm diameter) are used. Recently, use of smaller ports, miniports, have been reported.


To assess the benefits and harms of miniport (defined as ports smaller than the standard ports) laparoscopic cholecystectomy versus standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded until February 2013 to identify randomised clinical trials of relevance to this review.


Only randomised clinical trials (irrespective of language, blinding, or publication status) comparing miniport versus standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy were considered for the review.


Two review authors collected the data independently. We analysed the data with both fixed-effect and random-effects models using RevMan analysis. For each outcome we calculated the risk ratio (RR), mean difference (MD), or standardised mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).


We included 12 trials with 734 patients randomised to miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy (380 patients) versus standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy (351 patients). Only one trial which included 70 patients was of low risk of bias. Miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy could be completed successfully in more than 80% of patients in most trials. The remaining patients were mostly converted to standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy but some were also converted to open cholecystectomy. These patients were included for the outcome conversion to open cholecystectomy but excluded from other outcomes. Accordingly, the results of the other outcomes are on 343 patients in the miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy group and 351 patients in the standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy group, and therefore the results have to be interpreted with extreme caution.There was no mortality in the seven trials that reported mortality (0/194 patients in miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy versus 0/203 patients in standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy). There were no significant differences between miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy and standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the proportion of patients who developed serious adverse events (eight trials; 460 patients; RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.04 to 3.08) (miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy: 1/226 (adjusted proportion 0.4%) versus standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy: 3/234 (1.3%); quality of life at 10 days after surgery (one trial; 70 patients; SMD -0.20; 95% CI -0.68 to 0.27); or in whom the laparoscopic operation had to be converted to open cholecystectomy (11 trials; 670 patients; RR 1.23; 95% CI 0.44 to 3.45) (miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy: 8/351 (adjusted proportion 2.3%) versus standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy 6/319 (1.9%)). Miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy took five minutes longer to complete than standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy (12 trials; 695 patients; MD 4.91 minutes; 95% CI 2.38 to 7.44). There were no significant differences between miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy and standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the length of hospital stay (six trials; 351 patients; MD -0.00 days; 95% CI -0.12 to 0.11); the time taken to return to activity (one trial; 52 patients; MD 0.00 days; 95% CI -0.31 to 0.31); or in the time taken for the patient to return to work (two trials; 187 patients; MD 0.28 days; 95% CI -0.44 to 0.99) between the groups. There was no significant difference in the cosmesis scores at six months to 12 months after surgery between the two groups (two trials; 152 patients; SMD 0.13; 95% CI -0.19 to 0.46).


Miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be completed successfully in more than 80% of patients. There appears to be no advantage of miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy in terms of decreasing mortality, morbidity, hospital stay, return to activity, return to work, or improving cosmesis. On the other hand, there is a modest increase in operating time after miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared with standard port laparoscopic cholecystectomy and the safety of miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy is yet to be established. Miniport laparoscopic cholecystectomy cannot be recommended routinely outside well-designed randomised clinical trials. Further trials of low risks of bias and low risks of random errors are necessary.

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