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Ulster Med J. 1999 Nov;68(2):64-7.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: experience with 303 patients over the initial four years.

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Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.


A total of 303 patients underwent attempted laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) over a four-year period by two consultant surgeons or a senior trainee under their supervision. The procedure was completed in 291 with a conversion rate to open cholecystectomy of 3.9% and a median postoperative length of stay of two days, range zero to nine days. In eighteen patients the indication for LC was failure of symptoms to settle, two of whom required conversion (11.1%). Diathermy dissection was avoided in Calot's triangle and dissection started at the junction of Hartmann's pouch and cystic duct with full mobilisation of this area prior to clip application. Pre-operative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ERCP was performed in patients suspected of having common bile duct stones without routine intra-operative cholangiography. There was one death in this series (0.3%) and an overall complication rate of 6.3 %. There was no incidence of either bile duct injury or leak. LC can be performed with a low complication rate with attention to careful dissection technique in the region of Calot's triangle.

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